UN fears Israeli-Palestinian conflict heading towards ‘boiling point’

This year has been one of the deadliest in the occupied West Bank and Israel

Relatives mourn the death of Palestinian teenager Mahdi Hashash, who died of shrapnel wounds during an Israeli raid. AFP
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Amid a rise of violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank, the UN special co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process said the long-simmering conflict was reaching a “boiling point”.

Tor Wennesland told the UN Security Council on Monday that “high level of violence in the occupied West Bank and Israel in recent months including attacks against Israeli and Palestinian civilians, increase use of arms and settler related violence have caused grave human suffering”.

Mr Wennesland’s comments come days after two bombs exploded at bus stops in Jerusalem, killing a teenage boy and injuring at least 18.

Israeli police believe the bombings were a “combined terror attack”.

Last week, in the West Bank city of Nablus, Israeli soldiers killed a 16-year-old boy, bringing the death toll for Palestinians to more than 130, the deadliest year there since 2004.

Twenty-eight Israelis have also been killed this year.

Mr Wennesland condemned the violence on both sides, as did the US ambassador to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

“Amid these heightened tensions, it is all the more critical that Israelis and Palestinians refrain from unilateral actions including settlement activity, evictions and the demolition of Palestinian homes, incitement to violence such as payments to the families of terrorists, and disruption of the historic status quo of holy sites,” said Ms Thomas-Greenfield.

Mr Wennesland called for “urgent steps” to be taken to bring the two countries closer to a two-state solution.

“The violence must stop,” he said. “This surge of violence in the occupied Palestinian territories is taking place in the context of a stalled peace process and entrenched occupation.”

Updated: November 28, 2022, 4:56 PM