U.S. Envoy to the United Nations Calls Israeli Settler Violence 'Abhorrent'

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield participates in a virtual coronavirus Summit as part of the UN General Assembly, from the White House complex in Washington, last month.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield participates in a virtual coronavirus Summit as part of the UN General Assembly, from the White House complex in Washington, last month.Credit: EVELYN HOCKSTEIN/ REUTERS
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

America’s ambassador to the UN denounced settler violence against Palestinians on Tuesday, saying reports of the violence were “abhorrent.”

“We are deeply concerned by the violence perpetrated by Israeli settlers in the West Bank against Palestinians and their property,” Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the Security Council. “Reports of masked men terrorizing a village in Hebron, destroying homes and injuring children on September 28, and similar acts elsewhere in the West Bank, are abhorrent.”

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The United States “appreciated the strong and unequivocal condemnation of this violence by Foreign Minister Lapid, Defense Minister Gantz, and others in the Israeli government,” she continued. But she urged Israel “to investigate these incidents fully, including the response by Israeli security forces.”

Damage as seen a day after the attack in Khirbet al-Mufkara, Wednesday.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

Despite this condemnation, Thomas-Greenfield also criticized the Security Council’s focus on Israel’s conduct.

“Far too often, the substance of these discussions is centered almost entirely around criticism of Israel and counterattacks,” she said. “I sincerely hope that going forward, council memberswill do their best to take a more balanced approach. Also, there are other countries and situations in the region that merit Security Council attention and should not be neglected.

In addition, she urged Israel and the Palestinian Authority to resume direct negotiations and welcomed the “re-engagement between Israeli and Jordanian leaders, as well as the progress from the Abraham Accords.”

Earlier, the UN’s Middle East envoy, Tor Wennesland, briefed the council about Israel’s construction plans in the West Bank’s E1 region, located near the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. "This is very worrying," he said, "because if the planned construction goes forward, it will sever the northern and southern parts of the West Bank from each other and significantly reduce the chances of creating a contiguous Palestinian state."

As Haaretz has previously reported, Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank discussed two construction plans for E1 earlier this month. But the hundreds of Palestinians who filed objections to the plans couldn’t participate, because the meeting took place on Zoom and most of them live in villages without internet.

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