New York, 19 January 2023 (TDI): Tor Wennesland, the Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process said in a Security Council meeting that there are negative trends prevailing in occupied Palestine regarding human toll.

Separation Wall in Occupied Palestine

Tor Wennesland said that there are continued violent trends from the last months of 2022. There is a rise in political tensions and the peace process is stalled.

This is the reason for the continuous loss of life. The world community must come forward along with local stakeholders to end the Israeli occupation in order to resolve conflict and move toward a two-state solution.

Deadly Clashes

The UN official further stated that 2022 was the deadliest year in the history of this conflict. More than 150 Palestinians and 20 Israelis have been killed in the West Bank and Israel.  

The flags of the State of Israel while the people of Palestine are holding banners depicting the flags of Palestine

During the last reporting period, from 8 December to 13 January, 14 Palestinians were killed. That also includes a 16 years old boy in Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus.

Also, 117 Palestinians were injured by Israeli security forces. Israeli sources argue that Palestinians have attacked Israeli civilians. That took the life of four civilians, and four security forces personnel were injured.

Collision Course

UN officials warned that the collision course between the people of Israel and Palestine has heightened violence in the West Bank. This could have grave consequences. The reason for such clashes is political rhetoric.

Israeli forces

Moreover, the continuous settlement activities of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territory are also a reason for such collisions. 

Similarly, the Israeli government on 2nd January informed the High Court of Justice that it has intentions to legalize the outpost of Homesh. Using Israeli law, Homesh was built on private Palestinian land.

Tor Wennesland emphasized that all these settlements are illegal according to international law and this is an obstacle to peace and security. Furthermore, there is a continuous series of demolition and seizures of Palestinian-owned properties.

Provocative Visit

He said, there are other reasons for the recent clashes. On 3 January Israel’s new National Security Minister, far-right party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir, visited the hilltop compound in Jerusalem’s old city.

Itamar Ben-Gvir, the Minister of National Security in Israel’s new government

That area is considered sacred for both Jews and Muslims. This is seen as a provocative act because, since 2017, no Israeli Minister has visited the place. The move was condemned by Palestinian Authority and many regional states.

In the same way, on 30 December 2002, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution. The resolution contained a request to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for an advisory opinion on the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

Also read: Pakistan Calls on UN to Act on Resolutions for Kashmir and Palestine

This move was praised by many states and UN agencies. But was criticized by the Israeli government. In concluding remarks, UN officials urged for strong leadership and Security Council agreement on preventing extremist discourse.