UN demands ‘immediate’ stop to Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed

In the midst of an uptick in violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian Authority security personnel in the West Bank city of Nablus sprayed tear gas at mourners attending the funeral of a Hamas fighter killed in the raid on Tuesday.

UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland declared in a statement that “the cycle of bloodshed we are in must be interrupted right away.

“The Security Council has called on the parties to exercise calm and moderation and to avoid engaging in provocative behavior, incitement, or inflammatory rhetoric,” the statement reads.

Intense fighting with Israeli forces on Tuesday resulted in the deaths of Abdel Fatah Hussein Khroushah, 49, and five other Palestinians in Jenin, a common site of violence in the northern West Bank.

According to the Israeli army, Khroushah was a “terrorist agent” who is thought to have killed two Israeli settlers on February 26 in the Palestinian hamlet of Huwara.

At the funeral in Nablus, an AFP reporter witnessed Palestinian mourners calling police “prostitutes” and “spies” and comparing the PA to those groups for their cooperation with Israel.

The PA said in January that it will no longer coordinate security with Israel in the wake of yet another deadly Israeli raid in Jenin.

The Fatah movement, a competitor organization to Hamas, is in charge of the PA.

Palestinian news agency Wafa said that “a gang unaffiliated to the martyr’s family seized the body and lowered it to the ground.” Talal Dweikat, a spokesman for the Palestinian security service, said that officers securing the funeral had interfered when an altercation started.

Hamas spokesman Abdul Latif al-Qanou decried the PA officers’ assault, stating in a statement that “confirms the PA is part of the strategy to punish the resistance” against the Israeli occupation.

The “outrageous behavior” by the officers, according to Qanou, was “going against the current and against the desire of our people,” he claimed.

In a countrywide strike on Wednesday, businesses in Palestinian cities around the West Bank closed their doors in opposition to the deadly Israeli raid.

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