UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has voiced concern over Israel’s increased aggression against and mass arrests of Palestinians in the West Bank.
Ban voiced his concern in a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday.
The UN chief also expressed concern over the restrictions on the movement of the Palestinians in the West Bank.
The recent wave of aggression by the Israeli forces against Palestinians began on June 12 after three young Israeli settlers allegedly went missing in the West Bank. Four Palestinians have been killed as Israeli forces press ahead with operations to find the three settlers. Over 300 Palestinians, including Hamas members and lawmakers, have been detained in recent days in the Israeli operations.
Meanwhile, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry has also said he is concerned by the increased Israeli aggression, urging the Tel Aviv regime to carry out the search operations “in compliance with international law and respect for the lives, dignity and livelihoods of Palestinians.”
“It should thus seek to minimize the impact of security operations on individuals who have committed no offense and investigate allegations of excessive use of force, including the killing of civilians,” Serry added.
Israel accuses Hamas of being behind the alleged disappearance of the settlers. However, the group has denied any involvement, and says Tel Aviv’s allegation about the abduction of the three Israeli settlers by the Palestinian resistance movement is aimed at torpedoing the recent reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah.
In April, Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas signed an agreement to end years of rivalry and form a unity government. The move irked Washington and Tel Aviv.