EU urges Israel, Palestine to defuse West Bank tension

Ramallah, Sep 30 : The European Union (EU) is exerting efforts to defuse the escalating tension between Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank, an official announced here. Shadi Othman, spokesman of the EU in the Palestinian territories, told reporters that the bloc is working with Israelis and Palestinians to "calm things down", because "it is not in the interest of any party to keep tension flaring that might lead to a comprehensive escalation", reports Xinhua news agency. Over the past few months, the West Bank has witnessed growing tension between the Israeli army and the Palestinians. More than 100 Palestinians have been killed since early January by Israeli soldiers, according to official Palestinian statistics. Meanwhile, 18 Israelis have been killed since March in a series of attacks carried out by Palestinians in Israeli cities. In responde, Israel conducted raids in the cities of Nablus and Jenin in the northern West Bank. The Israeli army said the raids target Palestinians involved in attacks against Israel. Othman noted that the escalation of tension would increase the risk of reaching a situation spiralling out of everyone's control. The EU efforts come a day after four Palestinians were killed on Wednesday in an Israel military offensive in a Jenin refugee camp. /IANS


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