UN ‘deeply concerned’ over Palestinian deaths

UN ‘deeply concerned’ over Palestinian deaths

Envoy James Rawley calls on Israel to investigate after IDF kills two men in 24 hours

Palestinians carry the body of Raed Zeiter, 38, during his funeral in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, on March 11, 2014 (photo credit: AFP PHOTO /AHMAD GHARABLI)
Palestinians carry the body of Raed Zeiter, 38, during his funeral in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, on March 11, 2014 (photo credit: AFP PHOTO /AHMAD GHARABLI)

Following two separate incidents in the West Bank that left two Palestinians dead on Monday, a United Nations official said he was “deeply concerned” about the incidents, and appealed to Israel to investigate the circumstances of each case.

“We urge that thorough investigations be conducted into all such cases, welcoming steps taken to this effect, and that accountability for any violations of international law be ensured. We call on all concerned to demonstrate restraint and work towards de-escalating tensions,” James Rawley, the deputy special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said in a statement Tuesday.

A statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office earlier Tuesday “expressed regret” over the shooting death of a Jordanian-Palestinian judge by IDF troops at a West Bank border crossing with Jordan.

“Israel regrets the death of Judge Raed Zeiter yesterday at the King Hussein (Allenby) bridge and expresses its sympathies to the people and government of Jordan,” the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Zeiter tried to snatch a weapon and “strangle” a soldier, a preliminary army investigation showed on Tuesday.

The military said it had conducted a “comprehensive investigation,” which included extensive questioning of witnesses. The army said the cameras on site had malfunctioned and the incident was not recorded.

However, some eyewitnesses said Zeiter was shot after an argument with the soldier even though the soldier’s life was never in danger.

In a second incident, IDF troops shot and killed a Palestinian man throwing stones at cars on Route 60, near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday night.

Tuesday’s UN statement also mentioned a third Palestinian death, likely a reference to allegations to the effect that IDF soldiers had fired on a Palestinian motorist in the West Bank, killing him and causing his car to crash. Palestinian security sources later retraced that accusation.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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