REGULAR PRESS BRIEFING BY THE INFORMATION SERVICE
18 November 2014
Rupert Colville, for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said that the OHCHR was alarmed by the recent series of violent incidents in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Early this morning, at least four Israelis had been killed and eight others injured, in an attack in a Jerusalem synagogue. On 16 November, a Palestinian bus driver had been found hanged in his bus in Jerusalem in unclear circumstances. At least six other people -- including five Israelis and one Ecuadorean -- had been killed in the previous month in alleged attacks involving cars driven at people and knife attacks. At least three Palestinian suspects had been killed when Israeli security forces reacted to those incidents. In response, Israel had reportedly announced that it would demolish or seal six homes of Palestinians allegedly involved in previous attacks.
OHCHR condemned all acts of violence, which had resulted in deaths and injuries. Israel had a duty to ensure law and order, including by bringing to justice those responsible for those attacks, but any response had to be in accordance with international law. OHCHR urged Israeli authorities to refrain from taking measures, such as punitive demolitions, which violated international law and might further inflame the situation.
Mr. Colville said that the OHCHR also continued to follow with concern the extremely tense and volatile situation across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. There were near daily clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces that had resulted in deaths and injuries, including as a result of the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces.
OHCHR called on Israelis and Palestinians to exercise restraint, and for all responses to the escalating situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory to be grounded in respect for human rights.