Middle East Monitor / September 28, 2023
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said on Wednesday that Israel “currently holds 1,264 Palestinians in administrative detention”.
According to the UN official, the number of detainees is the highest number in over a decade
In a speech he delivered before the UN Security Council, Wennesland said, “Israeli security forces carried out 1,042 search-and-arrest operations in the West Bank, resulting in 1,504 Palestinians arrested, including 88 children.”
During the reporting period, extending from 15 July to 19 September, Israeli security forces killed 68 Palestinians, including 18 children, during demonstrations, clashes, security operations, attacks or alleged attacks against Israelis, and other incidents.
The UN envoy confirmed that a total of 2,830 Palestinians, including 30 women and 559 children, were injured, including 271 by live ammunition and 2,119 by tear gas inhalation.
He noted that the lack of funding continues to undermine the United Nations’ ability to provide vital services to the Palestinians.
Wennesland said that the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) urgently needs $75 million to continue food aid until the end of the year for 1.2 million Palestinians in Gaza.
He added that the World Food Program needs $32 million to restore social assistance to priority families throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
Wennesland also noted that, “settlements further entrench the occupation, fuel violence, impede Palestinian access to their land and resources and systematically erode the viability of a Palestinian State as part of a two-State solution”.
He expressed grave concern over “the intensification of violence in the Occupied West Bank and Israel – at levels not seen in decades – and the use of increasingly lethal weaponry, including in densely populated areas,” adding that “immediate steps are needed to de-escalate tensions”.
On Tuesday, Wennesland made a visit to the Gaza Strip that lasted several hours, while repeatedly announcing that he was also holding talks with Israeli officials to calm the situation in Gaza.
Protests on the Gaza borders are ongoing for the 12th consecutive day, organized by the youth calling themselves “rebellious youths” who put out a call on social media to “denounce the settlers’ storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the ongoing violations in the West Bank, and the continued siege of Gaza.”
For 12 days, the Israeli authorities have prevented workers from leaving the Gaza Strip to work in Israel, while its army is bombing Palestinian targets near the Gaza Strip’s borders.
Since last year, the West Bank has also witnessed a state of severe tension following the Israeli army’s raids on Palestinian cities and camps.