UN concerned over Israel 'excessive force' allegations

'We are concerned about clashes and escalating tensions in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank,' UN spokesman says

UN concerned over Israel 'excessive force' allegations

World Bulletin / News Desk

The United Nations said on Tuesday that Israeli security forces may have used excessive force against Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem in recent days.

Rupert Colville, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said: "We are concerned about clashes and escalating tensions in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank, due to a wave of protests against access restrictions imposed by the Israeli authorities on Palestinian worshippers wishing to enter the Al-Aqsa compound.

"We note with concern allegations that Israeli security forces may, in some cases, have used excessive force against Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem in recent days," Colville added.

The UN was calling for restraint following the authorization granted by Israel on Sunday on the use of live fire in life-threatening situations in East Jerusalem, Colville warned.

He said any lethal use of force would exacerbate the cycle of violence and further inflame an already-tense situation.

"We urge the Israeli authorities to ensure that security forces only employ force as a last resort and in full accordance with the standards laid out under international law for maintaining public order, including detailed guidelines governing the use of live ammunition," Colville said.

Colville urged Palestinian and Israeli authorities to investigate any alleged excesses by their security forces and to ensure accountability.

Palestinian protesters scuffled with Israeli security forces at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Sunday. Israeli forces used stun grenades and rubber bullets to break up groups of protesting youths.

Demonstrators had barricaded the entry to the compound, reportedly because of a rumor that hardline Jewish groups would attempt to forcibly enter on the final day of the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha, which also saw the start of the Jewish festival of Sukkoth.

The compound -- Islam’s third-holiest site -- has long been a flashpoint between Palestinians and Israeli forces. Earlier this month, the area saw three days of clashes, which left dozens of Palestinians injured.

Currently, use of the mosque compound is restricted to Muslim worshippers. Some Palestinians, however, accuse Israeli authorities of planning to institute a partition scheme under which Jewish worshippers would allowed to access parts of the compound -- which Jews refer to as the “Temple Mount” -- for certain hours of the day.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Eylül 2015, 09:06
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