UN rights chief warns of increasing violence in Palestine, Israel

Volker Turk

Geneva : Increasing violence against both Israelis and Palestinians has had tragic consequences on the innocent people, United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk said.

Speaking at the 52nd session of the UN Human Rights Council, Turk added on Friday that the year 2022 saw the highest number of both Palestinians killed in the past 17 years and Israelis killed since 2016.

“This death toll has further, and sharply, deteriorated in the first weeks of 2023, and in the month that has just ended,” Turk said, during the interactive dialogue on his report on the occupied Palestinian territory.

According to Turk’s latest report, 131 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces over the past year outside any context of hostilities, Xinhua news agency reported.

Since 2017, fewer than 15 per cent of such killings had been investigated, Turk said, and fewer than 1 per cent had led to an indictment.

He told the Council that during the same period, 13 Israelis were killed by Palestinians, including three children.

“On both sides there is, I believe, a growing sense of a narrowing future, in which nobody can even hope for peace and security, for anyone’s children,” he said.

He urged decision-makers and people on all sides to step back from the context of extremism and violence and find a two-state solution, with mutual recognition of the legitimate rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to live in dignity, peace and security.

“For this violence to end, the occupation must end,” he stressed. — IANS


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