UN tells Israeli extreme right to halt violence against Palestinians

Scores wounded as Jewish settlers increase attacks on Jerusalemites (MEMO)

Middle East Monitor  /  June 1, 2021

A UN human rights expert condemned on Tuesday attacks on Israel’s Palestinian minority by extreme right-wing and vigilante groups, including settlers, Anadolu Agency reported.

UN Special Rapporteur on Minority Issues Fernand de Varennes said at times the attacks are made with the reported backing of Israeli security forces.

He urged Israel to fully protect all its citizens without discrimination.

“Reports of extreme right-wing violence and disproportional use of force by law enforcement officials … have led to some of the worst cases of violence against Palestinian citizens of Israel,” de Varennes said in a statement.

Palestinian citizens in Israel, including the Bedouin, constitute an Arab minority representing about 1.5 million, or 20% of the population and face discrimination in many areas, he said.

“These attacks have been shared on social media, and such platforms appear to have been used by extreme right-wing groups to advocate hatred that constitutes incitement to violence with impunity to gather people to bring their weapons and attack Palestinians,” said de Varennes.

Decades-long exclusion and discrimination, including segregation between Arab and Jewish citizens and a lack of equal treatment in terms of rights and privileges, has taken a heavy toll on the Palestinian minority, according to the UN expert.

The absence of protection and bomb shelters in the Bedouin villages in Naqab [Negev] has increased insecurity of the Bedouin minority, he said.

“Given the urgency of the situation, I call on the Government of Israel to firmly condemn all acts of violence, hatred, and discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel,” said de Varennes.

He said Israeli authorities must ensure its citizens immediately stop attacks and that everyone is fully and equally protected without any form of discrimination.

De Varennes said police accused of failing to protect all residents and citizens without discrimination must be investigated.

His statement was endorsed by Clement Nyaletsossi Voule, special rapporteur on the right to peaceful assembly and association, and Michael Lynk, special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian Territory.