The UN has avoided making an explicit condemnation of the Israeli attacks on the city of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
In response to a question about whether or not the UN condemned the Israeli drone attacks, the deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, Farhan Haq, told a press conference on Monday, “We’ve always said that it is not acceptable for there to be armed attacks in areas of high population density, and that’s the case.” He called for attacks on all residential areas to be stopped, but avoided condemnation of the use of drones, despite the many questions in this regard.
“All parties need to abide by international humanitarian law,” said Haq. “Although Israel is able to carry out security operations, it has to do so in such a way that avoids civilian casualties and destruction of civilian infrastructure.”
In response to a question about the Palestinian people’s right to defend themselves, the spokesman said: “All people have rights and they certainly have the right to protect themselves. What we want is to make sure that all parties de-escalate the situation on the ground.”
When asked why the UN does not condemn the Jenin attack but always condemns the killing of Israelis, Haq pointed out that, “The Secretary-General has spoken out about the violence in Jenin and in the West Bank in a statement we put out last week.”
According to the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, the escalating tension in Jenin is “very dangerous.” Referring to the killing of eight Palestinians, Wennesland said that the Israeli military operation comes after months of escalating tension, and “reminds us of the extremely volatile and unpredictable situation across the occupied West Bank.” He stressed the need to reduce tension urgently and allow humanitarian aid to reach Jenin.
Since dawn on Monday, at least eight Palestinians have been killed and 80 others wounded in an ongoing Israeli military operation in the city of Jenin and its refugee camp in the northern West Bank. A ninth Palestinian was killed near the city of Al-Bireh.