| 2 October 2022, Sunday |

UN calls for calm in Gaza, lifting of siege

The United Nations has voiced “grave concern” over the escalating violence in the West Bank and called for the immediate lifting of siege against Gaza.


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on all sides to “demonstrate calm in the West Bank or Gaza and on the relevant authorities to carry out independent, transparent investigations into all deaths and injuries,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.


“We’re, obviously, very concerned about the increased violence that we’ve seen in the occupied West Bank, including the killing Tuesday of three Palestinians in Nablus and one in Hebron following clashes with Israeli security forces,” Dujarric noted.


He affirmed that the ceasefire brokered by the UN and Egypt on Sunday has been “holding so far,” citing the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, briefing Monday to the Security Council in this regard.


“Humanitarian partners are responding to the needs of affected families through cash assistance and the provision of non-food items,” the spokesman affirmed.


Meanwhile, the Bureau of the UN General Assembly Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIRPP) appealed for the “immediate lifting of the siege against Gaza, now in its 15th year.”


It also called on Israel, the occupying power, to end practices of collective punishment against Palestinians in Gaza.


In a statement issued on Monday, the CEIRPP called for the start of negotiations leading to an end to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territory and the implementation of two-State solution based on relevant UN resolutions and international law.


It underscored the need to ensure accountability for persistent rights violations of international human rights and humanitarian law committed in the occupied Palestinian territory, including during military operations in Gaza.


The Bureau condemned the “serious escalation of violence between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fighters that started on August 5, following Israeli airstrikes and artillery attacks on densely populated areas.”


It commended Egypt for its mediation role in deescalating the situation, while calling on all sides to exercise maximum restraint to protect civilians and prevent further casualties.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat