Statement by the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Mr. Robert Serry
on Israeli search operations in the West Bank
The Special Coordinator is deeply concerned by reports that Israeli security operations in the West Bank since the abduction of three Israeli students have resulted in over 300 Palestinians arrested, many injured, and three Palestinians killed, including one minor this morning.
The United Nations understands that these security operations and tightened restrictions on movement throughout and in and out of the West Bank are part of all possible efforts by Israel to bring the three youths home safely. We continue to call for their immediate release. At the same time we call for restraint and expect Israel to carry out the related security operations in compliance with international law and respect for the lives, dignity and livelihoods of Palestinians. It should thus seek to minimise the impact of security operations on individuals who have committed no offense and investigate allegations of excessive use of force, including the killing of civilians.
The Special Coordinator is concerned that without restraint from all sides in these dramatic circumstances, it will become even more difficult to address an already critical security situation on the ground.