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State Department Denounces Violence in West Bank Between Palestinians and Israeli Settlers

West Bank (Credits: Vox)

The U.S. State Department issued a statement on Monday strongly condemning the recent surge in violence in the West Bank, calling for immediate de-escalation from all parties involved. This response comes after a week marked by deadly clashes that resulted in the deaths of an Israeli teenager and two Palestinian youths.

The conflict escalated when Israeli settlers, spurred by the disappearance of a 14-year-old Israeli boy, launched incursions into Palestinian towns in the West Bank. These confrontations led to the torching of homes and vehicles and resulted in numerous casualties.

The boy was later found deceased, an incident the Israeli military has labeled a “terrorist attack,” though specific details surrounding his death remain undisclosed. The U.S. referred to the killing as a “murder.”

Israel-Hamas War (Credits: The Hill)

Visual evidence from the scene circulating online showed intense skirmishes, with Palestinians throwing stones and Israeli forces responding with tear gas. Additionally, physical altercations between settlers and Palestinians were documented, indicating a sharp rise in tensions.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller expressed deep concern over the violence, emphasizing that civilians should never be targeted. “The violence must stop,” Miller stated.

“Civilians are never legitimate targets. We call on the authorities to take measures to protect all communities from harm, and we urge Israel and the Palestinian Authority to do everything possible to de-escalate tensions.”

President Joe Biden (Credits: CNN)

This increase in violence follows the devastating Hamas attacks on October 7, which have since led to a serious rise in fatalities and injuries in the region.

According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Ramallah, over 450 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settler-initiated violence in the West Bank since those attacks.

In light of these events, the Biden administration has stepped up its efforts to curb the violence, specifically targeting illegal Israeli settlements and the actions of settlers against Palestinians.

It has implemented several rounds of sanctions against individuals believed to be instigating violent acts in the region. These measures reflect a concerted effort by the U.S. to facilitate peace and ensure the safety of all affected populations in the volatile West Bank and East Jerusalem areas.

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