With the recent rise in Israeli violence against the Palestinians, particularly the shooting death of young Palestinians, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland today called for maximum restraint and avoiding escalation in the violence.
Expressing deep concern about the spiraling cycle of violence, particularly as the date for the controversial Israeli so-called flags march approaches that threaten another round of Palestinian-Israeli violence, the UN official called upon “all sides to exercise maximum restraint and make wise decisions to avoid another violent conflict that will only claim more lives.”
“The message of the international community is clear to avoid such an escalation,” said Wennesland in a statement a day after Israeli soldiers shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy near Bethlehem, the fifth minor killed by Israeli soldier this month, and a day before thousands of extremist Israelis are going take part in the provocative and government-sanctioned flags march that is going to go through Palestinian neighborhoods in occupied Jerusalem.
“I have been in contact with all concerned parties and urge their leaders to heed this call,” said the UN Special Coordinator.
The Israeli prime minister, Naftali Bennett, said he insists on the march proceeding tomorrow as planned, that is through the Palestinian neighborhoods, despite calls by many to change its route to avoid a violent response from the Palestinian factions.