West Bank risks ‘spiralling out of control’ – UN rights chief

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GENEVA, June 23 (Reuters) – The United Nations high commissioner for human rights said on Friday that the situation in the occupied West Bank was deteriorating sharply, adding that Israeli forces had killed at least seven Palestinians including children in a refugee camp.

“This week’s violence in the occupied West Bank risks spiralling out of control, fuelled by strident political rhetoric, and an escalation in the use of advanced military weaponry by Israel,” Volker Turk said in a statement via a spokesperson at a U.N. press briefing, calling on Israel to bring its actions into line with international law.

The weaponry included helicopter gunships and drones, the spokesperson added.

The air strikes on Jenin refugee camp represented a “major intensification of the use of weaponry more generally associated with the conduct of armed hostilities, rather than a law enforcement situation,” he said.

“Israel must urgently reset its policies and actions in the West Bank in line with international human rights standards, including protecting and respecting the right to life,” he said.

Israeli settlers look at a bullet hole in the gas station kiosk where the shooting attack took place, outside the Israeli settlement of Eli in the West Bank, 21 June 2023. Four people were killed in a Palestinian shooting attack on 20 June at a gas station at the entrance to the Israeli settlement of Eli. One of the shooters was shot dead by an armed civilian and the second shooter was caught and killed by security forces, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) reported. EPA-EFE/ABIR SULTAN

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