Ban ki-Moon ‘alarmed’ by West Bank clashes
UN chief Ban ki-Moon called for calm as violence continues between Israelis and Palestinians. (AFP/File)
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed alarm Tuesday that hostilities in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem appeared to be "spiraling out of control".
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ban condemned the recent killings of four Palestinians and urged Israeli authorities "to conduct a prompt and transparent investigation into the incidents, including whether the use of force was proportional".
Tensions have escalated since last Thursday, when an Israeli-settler couple were shot dead in the West Bank. Since then, two more Israelis have been killed in Jerusalem and four Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces.
On Sunday, Abd al-Rahman Obaid Allah, a 13-year-old Palestinian child, was killed by Israeli gunfire in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. A second Palestinian youth, 18 years old, was also reportedly killed by Israeli forces on the same day.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said Monday that 500 Palestinians had been injured in clashes since Saturday.
Ban's comments on Tuesday came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a punitive move, ordered the destruction of the homes of two Palestinians involved in attacks on Israelis more than a year ago.
He "does not believe that the demolition of Palestinian houses or the construction of new Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land will do anything other than inflame tensions still further", read the statement.