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

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora