670,000 Israeli citizens reside in occupied Palestinian territory: UN envoy

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Some 670,000 Israeli citizens currently reside in “over 130 illegal settlements and over 100 outposts in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem,” Tor Wennesland, the UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said.

Wennesland told the UN Security Council on Tuesday that Israel’s settlement expansion “continues to fuel violence” in the occupied Palestinian territory, “further entrenching the occupation and undermining the right of Palestinians to self-determination and independent statehood.”

As for the call of the Security Council resolution 2334 (2016) on parties to prevent attacks against civilians, the special coordinator said that “unfortunately, daily violence continued.”

Twenty four Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces during demonstrations, clashes, security operations, attacks and alleged attacks against Israelis, during the reporting period (December 10 to March 18). In addition, Israeli settlers or other civilians perpetrated 144 attacks against Palestinians, according to the envoy.

In total, Palestinians carried out 277 attacks against Israeli civilians during the reporting period, the envoy added.

The envoy observed that the absence of a meaningful peace process to end Israel’s occupation and resolve the conflict, is fuelling a dangerous deterioration that is destabilising the situation across the occupied Palestinian territory.

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