REGULAR PRESS BRIEFING BY THE INFORMATION SERVICE
1 July 2014
Corinne Momal-Vanian, Director of the United Nations Information Service in Geneva, chaired the briefing, which was attended by the Spokespersons for United Nations Refugee Agency, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, International Organization for Migration, World Health Organization and the World Food Programme.
Ms. Momal-Vanian read the statement of the Secretary-General, issued the night before on the murder of the three Israeli teenagers, who condemned it in the strongest terms. There could be no justification for the deliberate killing of civilians. The Secretary-General hoped that Israeli and Palestinian authorities would work together to bring the perpetrators swiftly to justice, and extended his deepest sympathy to the families of the victims.
The Secretary-General believed that such a heinous act by enemies of peace aimed to further entrench division and distrust and to widen the conflict. It must not to be allowed to succeed. The Secretary-General called on all parties to abide by their obligations under international law and to refrain from any actions that could further escalate this highly tense situation.
Ravina Shamdasani, for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), said that the OHCHR mourned the killing of the three Israeli teenagers who had gone missing in the West Bank on 12 June. OHCHR extended its condolences and sincere sympathy to the families of the three teenagers, and called for the perpetrators of that crime to be brought to justice.
OHCHR called on all Israelis and Palestinians to exercise maximum restraint and to prevent the situation from worsening further. The previous night, a Palestinian teenager had been killed by Israeli forces in the north West Bank, bringing to seven the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank, including three teenagers, since 12 June. OHCHR’s condolences went to all of their families. Also, the previous night, at least six Palestinians had been injured by Israeli forces in the West Bank. OHCHR had also noted an increase in rocket fire from the Gaza Strip and air and sea strikes by Israeli forces in Gaza, additional movement restrictions and incidents of settler violence in the West Bank.
Ms. Shamdasani said that OHCHR reiterated its call for strict adherence to international law by all relevant actors, to avoid further loss of life, injuries and negative impact on human rights. OHCHR urged all parties to refrain from punishing individuals for offences they had not personally committed or by imposing collective penalties.