Conflicts & War

Israel president condemns settler attacks in talks with Palestine leader

Jerusalem, Jun 27 (EFE).- Israeli President Isaac Herzog stressed the need to “act strongly to thwart terrorism” in the West Bank and condemned the recent wave of Jewish settler attacks against Palestinian towns during a telephone call on Tuesday with his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas.

During the conversation, Herzog “emphasized the importance of the decisive and vigorous fight against terrorism, incitement and hatred,” a statement from the president’s office read.

The Israeli leader underscored “the need to act strongly to thwart terrorism, which harms both people, families and communities as well as the chance of good neighborliness in the region and the Middle East.”

Herzog strongly condemned “the harm to innocent Palestinians by extremists that has been carried out in recent days,” as the region reels from a spike in violence.

The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, confirmed the call, and said that the Israeli president wished Abbas a happy Eid al Adha, one of the most significant Muslim holidays of the year.

In another phone call earlier on Tuesday, Israeli Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, spoke to the head of the Palestinian Authority’s General Authority of Civil Affairs, Hussein al Sheikh.

The Israeli minister said he was concerned with “the recent violence against Palestinian civilians” and added that the government would bring the perpetrators to justice.

The talks came after Israel on Monday approved the construction of over 5,700 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

Israel’s Higher Planning Committee had already approved the construction of more than 7,300 houses earlier in the year, bringing the total number of additional housing units to over 13,000.

The confirmation of more settlements is unlikely to ease simmering tensions, after an uptick in violence in the region last week.

A shooting last Tuesday on a gas station near the Eli settlement by militants with ties to Palestinian Islamist group Hamas killed four settlers, sparking a surge of settler attacks on Palestinian towns.

The wave of violence in the West Bank last week left 17 Palestinians and four Israeli settlers dead.

This year has been the deadliest in the Palestine-Israel conflict since the Second Intifada, a five-year uprising which ended in 2005.

So far 142 Palestinians have been killed in violent incidents in the West Bank, including 23 children, most of them in armed clashes with Israeli troops, which have intensified their raids in the area especially in the northern West Bank around Nablus and Jenin.

New Palestinian armed groups have emerged and the number of attacks against Israel has also surged.

On the Israeli side, 25 people have died, most of them settlers and five of them minors.EFE


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