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Palestinian PM urges UN teams to take action against rise in Israeli killings of Palestinians

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh (Photo via Twitter)

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called upon the United Nations teams in the Israeli-occupied territories to closely monitor unfolding developments on the ground and adopt proper measures in light of an upsurge in the number of Palestinians killed at the hands of Israeli military forces and settlers.

“Given the extrajudicial executions on roads and increasing number of terrorist attacks by Israeli troops and soldiers – the latest of which was a car-ramming assault by an Israeli settler against two brothers Mohammad and Muhannad Yousef Muteir near the city of Nablus, we call on the United Nations teams operating in the occupied lands to deploy monitors on the roads and in the areas where settlers might use to target Palestinians,” Shtayyeh said at a weekly cabinet meeting held in the central West Bank city of Ramallah on Monday.

“The UN has more than 400 vehicles and more than 1,000 staffers that can be trained as monitors to observe and document the actions of Israeli soldiers and settlers,” he said.

Zakaria Fayala, a spokesperson for al-Quds Governorate, told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa that Mohammad and Muhannad Yousef Muteir were on the side of the road near the Israeli checkpoint of Za’tara on Saturday night, fixing a puncture in one of the tires of their vehicle when an Israeli settler drove his car into them.

Mohammad died instantly while Muhannad was seriously injured.

Mohammad’s body was taken to a hospital in the city of Nablus, while Muhannad was rushed to an Israeli hospital for medical treatment, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Israeli forces have recently been conducting overnight raids and killings in the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in the cities of Jenin and Nablus, where new groups of Palestinian resistance fighters have been formed.

Since the start of 2022, Israeli troops have killed more than 210 Palestinians, including more than 50 children, in the occupied West Bank and East al-Quds as well as the besieged Gaza Strip.

According to the United Nations, the number of Palestinians killed by Israel in the occupied West Bank this year is the highest in 16 years.

Local and international rights groups have condemned Israel’s excessive use of force and “shoot-to-kill policy” against Palestinians.

Shtayyeh also condemned Israel’s deportation of Palestinian-French human rights lawyer Salah Hammouri after revoking his right to live in his hometown of al-Quds.

Hammouri landed in Paris on Sunday morning. Wearing a black track suit and black and white keffiyeh, or Palestinian headscarf, around his neck, he was greeted by his wife and a group of supporters.

He lambasted the Israeli regime for “ethnic cleansing” and said his deportation was meant “to show the generations that nobody can resist Israel.” He vowed to fight the order.

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“We condemn the deportation of al-Quds citizen Salah Hammouri to France, after Israeli authorities arrested him administratively, withdrew his residency papers, and deprived him of his natural right to reside in his hometown,” Shtayyeh pointed out.

The senior Palestinian official also slammed remarks by Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu in which he said he will not give the Palestinians more than self-rule and that security will remain in the hands of Israel.

“Netanyahu’s comments will impinge upon the right of our nation to establish an independent state. The right has been achieved through great sacrifices and endorsed by international resolutions. It cannot be abdicated by a statement or a of an Israeli official,” Shtayyeh said.

“Our people will not cease their legitimate struggle until they restore their legitimate rights and establish an independent sovereign state on the June 4, 1967 lines borders, with al-Quds as its capital,” the Palestinian prime minister said.

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