UN urges end to 'endless cycle of violence' in West Bank

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The United Nations called Friday for an end to the "endless cycle of violence" in the occupied West Bank, after one of the deadliest Israeli army raids in years.

"We are very concerned by the sharp rise in Palestinian fatalities during Israeli operations in occupied West Bank," the UN human rights office said on Twitter.

"So far this year: 28 killings. In 2022: 152 killings," it said. "This endless cycle of violence must end. All those responsible for violations must be held to account."

Israeli forces killed nine people during a raid Thursday at the crowded Jenin refugee camp, where gunshots rang through the streets and smoke billowed from burning barricades.

Earlier Friday, the UN's special rapporteurs on counter-terrorism, arbitrary executions and human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories condemned the Jenin incursion, saying it showed a dangerous trajectory of violence.

"None of this violence would occur if Israel were to end its illegal, half-century old occupation immediately and unconditionally as required by international law," they said in a joint statement.

"We recall once again that Israel, as long as it remains the occupying power, has an obligation to ensure the protection, security and welfare of the Palestinian people living under its occupation," said the experts, who do not speak for the UN.

"What we see is the contrary. Dehumanisation, demonisation and collective punishment of Palestinians, the latter of which is specifically prohibited under international humanitarian law and constitutes a war crime."