News / Middle East

UN Urges Israeli Restraint in Hunt for Teens

Israeli soldiers take positions during clashes with Palestinians as troops conduct a search for three missing Israeli teens in the West Bank village of Kabatyeh near Jenin, June 22, 2014.
Israeli soldiers take positions during clashes with Palestinians as troops conduct a search for three missing Israeli teens in the West Bank village of Kabatyeh near Jenin, June 22, 2014.
Reuters
A senior United Nations official on Monday urged Israel to exercise restraint in its search for three missing teenagers it accuses the Hamas Islamist group of kidnapping, while warning the Security Council that violence in the region could escalate.

Israel's army said it had detained another 37 Palestinians overnight as it searched and extended a crackdown on Hamas, which has denied having any knowledge of the missing teens. The Israeli military says it has detained 361 people since the Israeli students went missing on June 12.

"As the search for the missing youth continues, we call for restraint in carrying out the security operations in strict compliance with international law, and avoiding punishing individuals for offenses they have not personally committed," U.N. political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman said.

"The rising death toll as a result of Israeli security operations in the West Bank is alarming," he told the Security Council during a monthly meeting on the Middle East.
 
Protesters argue with Palestinian riot police during a protest against security coordination between Palestinian authority and Israel, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 23, 2014.Protesters argue with Palestinian riot police during a protest against security coordination between Palestinian authority and Israel, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 23, 2014.
x
Protesters argue with Palestinian riot police during a protest against security coordination between Palestinian authority and Israel, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 23, 2014.
Protesters argue with Palestinian riot police during a protest against security coordination between Palestinian authority and Israel, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, June 23, 2014.

The crisis has aggravated tensions in the West Bank which, along with East Jerusalem and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, the Palestinians want as part of a future state.

After his public briefing, Feltman spoke to the council behind closed doors. He warned the 15-nation body there could be a new Palestinian intifada, or uprising, against Israel.

"The situation on the ground is very bad," Feltman was quoted as saying by a council diplomat in the room, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity. "I fear we might get to the point of a third intifada."

Other diplomats confirmed Feltman's closed-door warning.

Council members also attempted to agree on a statement to the press to condemn the alleged kidnapping of the Israelis.

Russia's U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin presented a draft statement but diplomats present at the meeting said both Jordan and the United States proposed amendments.

It soon became clear, diplomats said, that the U.S. and Jordanian delegations would be unable to agree on a mutually acceptable statement to the media. Washington, Israel's traditional protector on the council, wanted no condemnation of Israel while Jordan demanded a tough rebuke of the Jewish state.

"Unfortunately members of the Security Council were not able to find common ground," Churkin told reporters. "Some delegates want to have very strong language condemning Israel, another delegation did not want to have any reference to Israel at all."

Council statements must be approved unanimously.

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor issued a statement after the council meeting defending Israeli actions aimed at finding the missing teenagers.

"Some nations behave as if Israel should roll out the welcome mat for Hamas," he said. "Israel will not allow this terrorist group to trample on its citizens. Israelis are acting in self-defense to defend our nation from the terrorist networks that surround us." The Permanent Observer for the Palestinian territories, Riyad Mansour, condemned the "massive aggression against our people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory."

You May Like

Gun Nation

This is who America's gun owners are More

US Border Patrol Union Accused of Taking Sides on Immigration

Report alleges agents leaking info to immigration opponents, appearing at their private events; Center for Immigration Studies director defends agents' actions More

Video Rights Monitor: Hate Groups' Use of Internet to Inflame, Recruit Growing

Wiesenthal Center's Abraham Cooper says extremists have become skilled at celebrating violence, ideology on Web More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Interneti
X
Mike O'Sullivan
June 30, 2015 8:20 PM
Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.

VOA Blogs