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Comment: Violence in Palestine must end

Bild på IM:s generalsekreterare.

The situation in Palestine is serious and very worrying. All parties must take their responsibility to calm the situation. The Israeli authorities have the greatest responsibility for this. International humanitarian law and human rights in Palestine must be respected. Demolitions and evictions in Palestinian homes must stop.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been injured and many have been killed in recent days of violence, which has escalated since Israeli security forces stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s most sacred sites.

Israel’s occupation is the single largest hindrance to development in Palestine. The action violates international law and the human rights of the Palestinian people. This becomes clear in the situation of Palestinian refugees, restrictions on the use of land in the West Bank, the wall that Israel built on occupied territory, restrictions on building materials for Gaza and not least the housing conflict in East Jerusalem.

Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory must end. A two-state solution is needed to stop the conflict. The Palestinians’ right to self-determination must be respected. The illegal Israeli blockade of Gaza must end.

Many organizations, including Human Rights Watch, now describe Israel’s actions against Palestinians, both in the West Bank and in Gaza, as apartheid. In some areas, Human Rights Watch writes, “these shortcomings are so serious that they amount to crimes against humanity, with apartheid and persecution.”

Now the UN Security Council needs to act urgently, and the reaction of the outside world will be strong, fast, and concrete. All leaders, in Israel and Palestine, have a responsibility to help end the violence.


Martin Nihlgård, Secretary General, IM


By: Malin Kihlström