UN calls on Israel to end support of settler attacks on West Bank

(Reuters) – The United Nations human rights office on Tuesday called on Israel to halt its support of attacks by settlers in the occupied West Bank, which has seen an uptick of raids by Israel since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attack.

The call came a day after Israeli settlers shot dead two Palestinians in the West Bank on Monday, after Israeli forces killed a Palestinian teenager during a military raid.

“Israel, as the occupying power, must take all measures in its power to restore, and ensure, as far as possible, public order and safety in the occupied West Bank,” said Ravina Shamdasani, spokesperson for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

“This obligation includes protecting Palestinians from settler attacks, and ending unlawful use of force against Palestinians by the Israeli Security Forces.”

She added: “The Israeli Security Forces must immediately end their active participation in and support for settler attacks on Palestinians.”

Violence in the West Bank was already on the rise before Israel’s assault on Gaza, which was triggered by an Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on southern Israel. It has escalated since, with stepped-up Israeli military raids, settler violence and Palestinian street attacks.

Shamdasani described the escalating violence in the West Bank as “a matter of grave concern.”

In addition to more than 33,000 Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza, according to Hamas-run authorities, the Palestinian Health Ministry says at least 466 people in the West Bank have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers.