Palestinian leadership to seek UN meeting over Israeli raids
The Palestinian Authority has begun official procedures to request an emergency session of the UN Security Council in an attempt to end the ongoing Israeli military campaign in the West Bank, a statement said Sunday.
PA leadership denounced the campaign, which has seen five Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces, as "tyrannical aggression and collective punishment," the statement said.
"The Israeli aggression, which has gone to extremes for several days, has resulted in the killing of 6 Palestinians. Homes, institutions, and universities have been violated and hundreds of Palestinians who were freed from Israeli custody upon agreements have been re-detained under the pretext of search for three missing settlers."
Five Palestinians have been killed by Israeli bullets, over 400 arrested, and dozens injured amid a search campaign for three Israeli teens who disappeared from an area near the illegal Gush Etzion settlement on June 12.
Another Palestinian man is said to have died of a heart attack as Israeli soldiers raided his home, though the army disputes this claim.
Israel blames Hamas for the alleged kidnapping of the missing teens, but the Islamist movement denies involvement.
"Israeli arrogance won't prevent our people from realizing their legitimate national rights of freedom and independence," the PA statement said.
President Mahmoud Abbas has pledged that Palestinian security forces would coordinate with Israeli troops throughout the campaign to find the youths, the disappearance of whom Abbas has denounced.
But he also condemned Israeli killings of Palestinians throughout the campaign on Sunday.
"I said the kidnapping was a crime, but does that justify the killing of ... Palestinian teens in cold blood?” Abbas said in an interview with Haaretz newspaper.
"What does Netanyahu have to say about the killings? Does he condemn it? Look at what's happened all over the West Bank over the past days, the violence and the destruction of homes," he said.
"Is that justified?"