West News Wire: The U.N. human rights organization issued a warning on Friday that the recent uptick in violence in the occupied West Bank might get out of hand. 

At least 18 people have died in the region this week as a result of Palestinian attacks, Israeli military raids, or Jewish settlers. 

Volker Türk stated in a statement that “these most recent killings and violence, along with the inflammatory rhetoric, only serve to drive Israelis deeper into an abyss.” 

More than 200 people have perished in conflict-related violence so far this year, the vast majority of whom were Palestinians. 

Israel has intensified military operations in the northern West Bank, a heartland of Palestinian armed organisations, where deadly violence has erupted recently. 

Türk said this week’s violence was being fuelled by strident political rhetoric and an escalation in the use of advanced military weaponry by Israel. 

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said the sharp deterioration was having a terrible impact on Palestinians and called for an immediate end to the violence. 

He said international human rights law required Israeli authorities to ensure all operations are planned and implemented to prevent lethal force. 

Every death caused in such a context requires an effective investigation, he added. 

“Israel must urgently reset its policies and actions in the occupied West Bank in line with international human rights standards, including protecting and respecting the right to life,” Türk said. 

“As the occupying power, Israel also has obligations under international humanitarian law to ensure public order and safety within the occupied Palestinian Territory.” 

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Turk said the underlying dynamics leading to violence and the arbitrary loss of life needed to be addressed urgently and would require political will from Israel and the Palestinians as well as the international community. 

“For this violence to end, the occupation must end,” he said. 


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