Condemning Violence against Civilians by All Parties, Secretary-General Urges Israel as Occupying Power to Abide by International Humanitarian Law

The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General António Guterres:

The Secretary-General is deeply troubled by the continued violence and loss of life in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The Secretary-General condemns all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror.  This includes yesterday’s shooting by two armed Palestinians that killed four Israelis in the occupied West Bank and injured others and the ensuing acts of vandalism and torching of land and properties, including a school, by Israeli settlers in Palestinian villages around Nablus and Ramallah.

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the events in Jenin on 19 June, when an Israeli security forces operation and ensuing exchange of fire resulted in seven Palestinians killed, including two children, both students at United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) schools.

It is crucial to reduce tensions and to prevent further escalation.  Israel, as the occupying Power, must ensure that the civilian population is protected against all acts of violence and that perpetrators are held to account.  Israel must abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law, including the proportional use of force and the taking of all feasible precautions to spare civilians in the conduct of military operations.

Ultimately, only a return to a meaningful political process and ending the occupation will bring an end to this devastating cycle of violence and senseless loss of life.

For information media. Not an official record.