Western nations and the European Union have collectively called on Israel to “take concrete steps to halt unprecedented violence by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank.”
In a joint statement published by France’s foreign ministry, Australia, Britain, Canada, France, the European Union, and several other European countries voiced their concern, emphasizing immediate action.
Alarming Rise in Attacks and Casualties:
The joint statement, excluding Germany and the United States, highlighted an “unprecedented number of attacks perpetrated by extremist settlers” since early October. According to the signatories, these attacks have resulted in eight Palestinian fatalities and 83 injuries.
The escalating violence has raised significant international alarm, prompting the call for Israel to intervene and bring those liable for the attacks to justice.
Disagreements within the European Bloc:
While some EU members, such as Spain, have criticized Israel’s response to the situation, others; notably Germany, have expressed support for the state.
This division was further evident when EU chief Ursula von der Leyen endorsed sanctions on “extremist” Israeli settlers, a stance not universally agreed upon within the bloc.
Ongoing Tensions in the West Bank:
Israel’s settlement policy, deemed illegal under international law, continues to fuel pressures in the West Bank.
As the occupying power, Israel is urged to protect Palestinian civilians and address the surge in violence. The statement from Friday underscores the need for a resolution and accountability in the face of the ongoing crisis.
Background on the West Bank Conflict:
The West Bank has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Recent months have witnessed deadly raids by Israeli forces in the Jenin refugee camp, contributing to the rising toll of casualties.
Health officials report that over 280 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank since the Gaza conflict erupted on October 7.
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