UN warns of ‘deadliest year’ for Palestinians
This year will likely see the highest ever number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank, the UN Middle East peace envoy has warned. The death toll is being monitored by the UN's humanitarian agency.
“So far, 2022 is on course to be the deadliest year for the Palestinians in the West Bank since [Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs] began systematically tracking Palestinian fatalities in 2005,” Tor Wennesland said in a briefing to the UN Security Council on Friday.
He added that the “already explosive situation” will only deteriorate unless there is a return to political dialogue.
“I call on the Israeli and Palestinian leadership to recognize what is at stake and to take the necessary steps to restore calm,” Wennesland said.
Overall, 32 Palestinians including six children have been killed since the start of the year by Israeli security forces during demonstrations, clashes, search-and-arrest raids, attacks and alleged attacks against Israelis, and “other incidents,” Wennesland said. He added that 311 Palestinians, including one woman and eight children, were injured.
The UN official noted that Israeli settlers in the West Bank carried out 106 assaults on Palestinians, injuring 63 people.
During the same period, two Israeli security personnel were killed by Palestinians and 13 injured. In addition, 25 Israeli civilians were injured. Wennesland said the deaths and injuries were inflicted by Palestinians during shooting and car ramming attacks, among other incidents.
He added that Palestinians carried out 115 attacks on Israeli civilians, 100 of which involved stone-throwing.