The UN Security Council has issued a non-binding statement on Friday that “welcomed Israel’s evacuation of settlers from the compound in Hebron on December 4” but also “condemned the resulting settler violence, including against Palestinian civilians and property”. (photo, from aljazeera.net)
The 15-member council also urged “respect for the rule of law without discrimination or exception and welcomed the efforts of the Israeli and Palestinian security services to restore calm”.
Arab UN ambassadors requested the meeting, calling on the organisation to “take the necessary measures to prevent further escalation of violence and deterioration of the situation on the ground in the Occupied Palestinian Territory which could have serious implications on the already fragile peace process”.
A day before the UN statement, Israeli security forces acting on an Israeli high court ruling removed forcibly 250 settlers from the Hebron compound.
During the security operation the settlers shot and wounded three Palestinians and hurled rocks at others.
On Friday, violence went on in Hebron. Dozens of young Palestinians hurled rocks at Israeli troops, who responded by firing tear gas.
In Gaza City, about 2 000 Palestinians took part in a Hamas-led protest against the violence by the settlers.
Israeli security forces declared the south of the occupied West Bank a closed military zone, in the immediate wake of the evictions of Thursday.
Right-wing Israelis have vowed to exact revenge for the settlers’ eviction.