RAMALLAH, (PNA/Xinhua) — A UN official expressed on Saturday concerns over recent clashes between Israeli soldiers and international activists who tried to aid Palestinians.
James Rowley, UN coordinator for human rights affairs in the Palestinian territories, said in a press statement emailed to reporters that “the Israeli ban of activists of an international human rights organization, who brought a car that carried tents to help the residents in the Jordan Valley, was disappointing.”
On Friday, the activists tried to help residents of Jordan Valley in the West Bank to rebuild their destroyed tents.
“The UN expresses deep concerns towards what happened on Friday, as international rights activists were trying to help the Palestinians, including 16 children, who became homeless after their tents were destroyed by Israel last week,” said the UN coordinator.
He stressed that the UN and its partners “are committed to offer urgent humanitarian aid that the populations need,” adding that the international human community “will keep its efforts to ease the human aftereffect, including vagrancy due to the demolitions that grew in recent months in the West Bank.”
On Monday, Israeli army forces prevented residents of Makhoul village in the Jordan Valley area in northern West Bank from rebuilding their homes that had been demolished. European and Australian diplomats were also banned from reaching the area and offering aid to the residents.
Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at the residents, activists, journalists and foreign diplomats, who came with a truck loaded with tents.
Rowley called on the Israeli authorities “to protect the populations, who live under the jurisdiction of an occupying power, and stop destroying their properties or demolishing their homes,” adding “forcing the populations to evacuate their homes on their lands is disappointing.”