US Voices Concerns Over West Bank Rise in Violence in 2022
On Thursday, a 7-year-old Palestinian boy died during IDF activity in Bethlehem (the circumstances of his death are disputed and under investigation). And according to the US State Department, he will join a growing list this year of those who have died in the growing violence in the West Bank.
Since the beginning of 2022, more than 100 Palestinians in the West Bank, 30 in Gaza, and 20 Israelis have been killed, and the US State Department and the Biden administration took the opportunity three times on Wednesday—at the White House, the United Nations and at the State Department—to sound the alarm about the deteriorating security.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “We call on all parties to do everything in their power to de-escalate the situation and return to a period of calm. This is in the interest of all Israelis and Palestinians. As we have said for some time, we call on the parties themselves to contain the violence. The United States and other international partners stand ready to help, but we cannot substitute for vital actions by the parties to mitigate conflict and to restore calm.”
US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield also carried a similar message to the UN Security Council’s monthly meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We are troubled by the overall trend of growing violence. This includes terrorist attacks and incitement to violence against Israelis. This includes plans to develop Har Gilo west, which would further fragment the West Bank – and possible demolitions in Masafer Yatta. And this includes violence inflicted by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in their neighborhoods, and in some cases escorted by Israeli security forces,” Thomas-Greenfield said.
Last spring, a string of terrorist attacks in Israel killed 19 people. Since then, the military has been conducting nightly raids (called Operation Breakwater) into the West Bank to cut off the attacks at the root. Israeli officials have repeatedly warned that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is losing control of the people.
Earlier on Wednesday, at least four Palestinians were killed in a raid by the IDF in Operation Breakwater into Jenin. Two of the men killed were believed to be responsible for a series of shootings in the West Bank and were planning “more significant attacks in the near future,” according to the IDF.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan on Wednesday “stressed the need to take steps to de-escalate tensions in the West Bank, and to continue to take steps to improve the lives of Palestinians.” He also said the Biden administration welcomed the recent announcement that the Allenby Crossing between the West Bank and Jordan would begin operating full-time next month.