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UN Security Council to meet on Israeli-Palestinian violence

Reuters , Friday 16 Oct 2015
Israel
Israeli Occupation Forces (File Photo: AP)
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The United Nations Security Council will hold a special meeting on Friday to discuss the recent spate of violence between Israel and the Palestinians in which 39 people have been killed over the past two weeks.

The meeting, which diplomats said was called at the request of council member Jordan, will include a briefing from the UN secretariat on the situation on the ground and will take place at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT), the United Nations said on Thursday.

The diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said no resolution was planned at the moment but there might be an attempt to get the council to issue a statement aimed at urging the two sides to curb the violence.

"All options are on the table," a diplomat told Reuters.

Thirty-two Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed during two weeks of bloodshed. The Palestinian dead include 10 knife-wielding assailants, police said, as well as children and protesters shot in violent demonstrations.

The unrest, the most serious in years, has been triggered in part by Palestinians' anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem's al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is also revered by Jews as the location of two destroyed biblical Jewish temples.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon "would find that the apparent excessive use of force by Israeli security forces is also troubling and demands serious review, as it only serves to exacerbate the situation, leading to a vicious cycle of needless bloodshed."

The United States, Israel's long-time ally and protector on the 15-nation Security Council, has traditionally balked at proposed council statements of condemnation of Israeli actions against Palestinians, even if they criticize both sides.

However, State Department spokesman John Kirby said this week that, while Israel has a right to protect itself, "we've certainly seen some reports of what many would consider excessive use of force."

Council statements must be approved unanimously.

Palestinians have been protesting for weeks against Israel's attempts to build more settlements in east Jerusalem and force out Arab residents of the city that is meant to be a capital for any future Palestinian state.

Palestinians have also been protesting repeated Israeli and illegal Jewish settler attacks on Al-Aqsa mosque and closing the Muslim holy site on a number of occasions to worshippers.

The crisis started in late July when an 18-month old toddler Ali Dawabsha was burned to death and three other Palestinians were severely injured after their house in the occupied West Bank was set on fire by Israeli settlers.

The settlers smashed the windows of two homes in the village of Duma near Nablus and threw Molotov cocktails inside the buildings. Dawabsha died after sustaining serious burns.

The parents of the toddler, Riham and Saad, and their other son Ahmad lost their lives after suffering serious injuries as a result of the attack.

* The story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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