UN chief condemns escalating violence in occupied West Bank

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern over the recent violence in the West Bank, his spokesperson said Monday. 

Guterres "is gravely concerned by the escalating violence in the occupied West Bank, strongly condemns the acts of terrorism and violence in Huwara, and calls for all perpetrators to be held to account," said Stephane Dujarric at his press briefing.

Dozens of Israeli settlers attacked the Palestinian town of Huwara on Sunday and set fire to several Palestinian homes and vehicles. A Palestinian was killed in the attack.

The violence followed the killing of two Israeli settlers in a shooting attack in the town. In addition, the US State Department said another Israeli was killed Monday, who it said was also an American citizen.

"There can be no justification for terrorism, nor for arson and acts of revenge against civilians. Security forces have the responsibility to maintain security and prevent individuals from taking the law into their own hands," Dujarric said on behalf of Guterres.

Violence has escalated across the occupied territories in recent weeks amid repeated Israeli military raids into Palestinian towns.

According to Palestinian figures, at least 62 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of the year. Twelve Israelis were also killed in attacks by Palestinians in the same period.

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