| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

EU representative blasts Israel’s violation of international law in Jenin

EU representative to the Palestinian territories Sven Kuehn von Burgsdorff blasted on Saturday Israel over the “proportionality” of the force it used during its attacks on the Jenin camp last week.

The envoy then described the situation in the camp as “painful,” adding that what happened in the camp was a violation of international law.

The EU representative made his comments as he led a delegation of 30 diplomats who toured the refugee camp.

“We are concerned about the deployment of weaponry and weapons systems which question the proportionality of the military during the operation,” he said.

“The military assault on Jenin was painful. What happened is a violation of international law,” he added.

Von Burgsdorff indicated that the diplomatic delegation was briefed on the extent of the damage and destruction resulting from the Israeli attack, and listened to testimonies regarding preventing humanitarian aid from reaching the population, and obstructing aid to the injured.

He said Israel should directly and refrain from any action that harms civilians and has consequences for them, should respect international law during any military operation, publicly investigate any event of abuse by settlers, and hold accountable those who carry out the attack.

“This cycle of violence has to end, it cannot continue. If there is no political solution to the conflict, we are going to stand here in a week, in a month’s time, in a year’s time, with nothing changed,” he added.

The Israeli forces launched a massive aggression against the city of Jenin and its camp at dawn on Monday.

The Israeli incursion of Jenin lasted for two days, leaving 12 Palestinians killed, including five children, and over 140 others injured, 30 of them are in serious condition, in addition to the destruction of the camp’s infrastructure and extensive damage to Palestinians’ homes and properties.

Meanwhile, Israel’s United Nations ambassador called on Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to retract his condemnation of the country for its excessive use of force in its largest military operation in two decades targeting a refugee camp in the West Bank.

UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq said the secretary-general Antonio Guterres conveyed his views on Thursday “and he stands by those views.”

“I strongly condemn all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror,” Guterres told reporters.

Asked whether this condemnation applied to Israel, he replied: “It applies to all use of excessive force, and obviously in this situation, there was an excessive force used by Israeli forces.”

Israel’s UN Ambassador Gilad Erdan called the UN chief’s remarks “shameful, far-fetched, and completely detached from reality.” He said the Israeli military action in Jenin “focused solely on combating the murderous Palestinian terror targeting innocent Israeli civilians.”

Haq, the UN spokesperson, said Guterres “clearly condemns all of the violence that has been affecting the civilians in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, regardless of who is the perpetrator.”

The UN Security Council discussed Israel’s military operation in Jenin behind closed doors Friday at the request of the United Arab Emirates and received a briefing from Assistant Secretary-General Khaled Khiari.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat