GENEVA, Switzerland — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will address the United Nations’ top human rights body next week, the UN said Tuesday, as a wave of violence in Israel continues despite international calls for calm.
“We expect that on October 28, here is Geneva, the Human Rights Council will hold a special meeting, [which] will feature an intervention by president Mahmoud Abbas from Palestine on the situation in the region,” UN spokesman Michele Zaccheo told reporters.
He stressed that the event would not be a special session of the council, but rather a “meeting” lasting about one hour, including a speech by Abbas, but with no room for subsequent questions or debate.
Such a special meeting has been called only once before by the UN’s top rights body, when Chilean President Michelle Bachelet spoke to the council in 2007, Zaccheo said.
The announcement came as UN chief Ban Ki-moon made an unannounced visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories Tuesday, in an effort try to calm the weeks of escalating violence.
Despite calls for nonviolence from Abbas, Palestinians have carried out repeated shooting, knife and other attacks on Jews inside Israel and the West Bank since the beginning of September.
Ten Israelis have been killed and dozens wounded since the start of the cycle of violence, when Alexander Levlovich died after a rock attack on his car in mid-September.
At least 41 Palestinians have been killed in that time, either while carrying out attacks on Israelis or in violent clashes with security forces.