1 of 6 | Palestinians throw stones at Israeli army vehicles during a raid in the occupied West Bank town of Nablus on Wednesday. At least 10 Palestinians were killed in the raid conducted by Israeli military. More than 100 were injured. Photo by Mohammad Tamim/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Ten Palestinians were killed in an Israeli Defense Force raid in the Palestinian city of Nablus, West Bank, on Wednesday, drawing condemnation from the United Nations and several Middle Eastern nations.
The raid also left more than 100 people injured, according to the Times of Israel, and comes amid international calls for de-escalation to preserve the possibility of a two-state solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestinians.
In New York, the U.N. Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People opened its 2023 session by noting the growing frequency of violent incidents. U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said the situation in occupied Palestinian territory is "at its most combustible in years."
"Deadly cycles of violence keep accelerating. Tensions are sky high. And the peace process remains stalled," Guterres said in a statement.
"The situation in Jerusalem/Al-Quds is becoming more fragile amidst provocations and acts of violence in and around the holy sites. It radiates instability across the region and beyond," Guterres said, adding that 2022 was the deadliest year for Palestinians since the U.N. began keeping data on fatalities in 2005.
"The position of the United Nations is clear: The status of Jerusalem cannot be altered by unilateral actions," he added.
Israeli military said the incident began as an operation to arrest suspected Palestinian gunmen in Nablus. According to a New York Times report, Israeli authorities identified the suspects as members of a local armed group known as the Lions' Den. Officials say the group is partly responsible for the recent rise in violence in the region.
The United Nations' condemnation of the continuing violence was echoed by Middle East nations such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, and Jordan.
Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry called for international intervention, calling the actions of the IDF a violation of international law, the Times of Israel reports. Qatar's foreign ministry called the raid in Nablus a continuation of "systematic crimes against the Palestinian people."
Jordan has consistently positioned itself against Israeli activity in Palestinian territory, and that activity has only increased in recent weeks and may be set to accelerate even more if Israel follows through with its plan to establish nine new settlements in West Bank, some observers say. The U.N. Security Council adopted an official position on the authorization of new settlements, expressing its concern that such unilateral actions will only further escalate conflict in the region.
"I am concerned that developments on the ground are continuing their negative trajectory, gaining in both pace and intensity," said Tor Wennesland, special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, in February regarding its February statement.
Also on Wednesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the nation's largest Muslim civil-rights and advocacy group, called on the Biden administration to condemn the raid.