An Arab League follow-up committee on Wednesday recommended further talks to discuss putting forward a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council to protect Palestinians from settler violence, officials said. The Arab PeaceInitiativemeeting in Cairo –chaired by Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih Shukri –called onUN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to create an international mechanism for protecting Palestinian civilians in the occupied territories.
The committee also issued support for the Palestinian Central Council’s decision to review political, economic and securityrelationswith Israel and stressed support for Palestinian political unity and thereconstructionof the Gaza Strip. Palestine remains the “primary issue for Arabs,” Shukri said.
Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi called for the group to submit a draft resolution to the UN condemning settler violence and expressed deep concern over the financial crisis within the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, urging Arab states to commit support for the agency.
The committee includes Palestine, Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, the UAE, Morocco and Yemen.
Earlier, the PLO said that a special report it prepared on settler violence would be presented to the committee.
The report, entitled “Israeli Settler Terrorism,” documented settler attacks on Palestinians from Jan. 1 to July 31 and called on the international community to “hold Israeli authorities responsible for their criminal acts” and end Israel’s culture of impunity.
According to the report, settlers have carried out over 11,000 attacks on Palestinians and their property, land, and religious sites since 2004. Over 85 percent of investigations into settler violence are closed without indictments, Israeli rights group Yesh Din says.
Settler violence against Palestinians is routine in the occupied territories but has come under the spotlight in the past week following an arson attack near Nablus which killed 18-month-old toddler Ali Dawabsha.
Israeli settlers have carried out at least 120 attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the start of 2015, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. MAAN