RAMALLAH, Palestine – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called Sunday on the United Nations to condemn what he describe as the continued Israeli violations against the Palestinian people.
During a meeting with United Nations’ special envoy for the Middle East peace process Robert Serry, Abbas called on UN chief Ban Ki-Moon to form an international committee to monitor and investigate "crimes and violations" committed against the Palestinian people, Anadolu news agency reported.
The latest of such crimes, he said, was the kidnapping and killing of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir last Wednesday by suspected Jewish settlers near Jerusalem.
"Abu Khdeir was burnt alive and 16 Palestinians, including children and women, were killed during the past two weeks, aside from the ongoing kidnapping attempts and assaults against (Palestinian) children," Abbas told Serry as he gave the latter an urgent letter to deliver to the U.N. chief.
Footage taken from a security camera near Mohammed's home showed what appeared to be Jewish settlers abducting the boy. In the footage, the kidnappers can be seen forcing him into their car before speeding off.
Abbas also denounced the assault against Mohammed Abu Khdeir's cousin, Tareq Abu Khdeir, by Israeli police.
"We all saw through the media the face of Tareq Abu Khdeer distorted with injuries," the president added. He also called for labeling extremist settlers groups that are suspected to be behind a recent string of attacks against Palestinian citizens and property "illegal and illegitimate organizations."
"I have requested an international protection for the Palestinian people, giving the Israeli authorities' refusal to prosecute these settler's groups in the light of a rise in settlers' attacks against Palestinians, which have increased by 41 per cent since the first half of 2014," he noted.
"We are preparing to announce a raft of steps to end the Israeli aggression and curb settlers' crimes and the ongoing attacks against our people in the besieged Gaza strip," Abbas went on to say, without elaborating on these steps.
According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Israel had arrested six suspects in connection with Mohammed's murder.Since three settlers went missing in West Bank and later found dead, Israeli forces have launched a wide-scale arrest campaign in the West Bank, detaining hundreds of Palestinians, including lawmakers and former government officials as well as a barrage of air strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip.
No Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the settlers' disappearance or subsequent death.