UN Security Council to discuss violence in Israel, West Bank


(JTA) — The United Nations Security Council is scheduled to hold a special meeting on the spate of violence in Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The meeting, which diplomats told Reuters was called at the request of council member Jordan, is to include a briefing from the U.N. secretariat about the situation on the ground, the United Nations said yesterday.

The diplomats said no resolution was planned at the moment but that there might be an attempt to get the council to issue a statement aimed at urging the two sides to curb the violence.

“All options are on the table,” one diplomat told Reuters. Some 32 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed during two weeks of bloodshed. The Palestinian dead include 10 knife-wielding assailants, police said, as well as protesters shot in riots.

The unrest, the most serious in years, has been triggered in part by Palestinians’ anger over what they see as increased Jewish encroachment on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, which contains sites holy to Jews and to Muslims.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “would find that the apparent excessive use of force by Israeli security forces is also troubling and demands serious review, as it only serves to exacerbate the situation, leading to a vicious cycle of needless bloodshed.”

U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said this week that, while Israel has a right to protect itself, “we’ve certainly seen some reports of what many would consider excessive use of force.”

And on Tuesday U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry linked the recent surge in Palestinian violence on Israelis to the “increase in settlements,” though State Department spokesman John Kirby later said this was one of several factors fueling the violence.

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