Amid abduction, increased violence, Ban says Israelis, Palestinians must show restraint

22 June 2014

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stressed the need to avoid an escalation of tensions in the wake of the recent abduction of three Israeli teenagers and the increased violence and mass arrests in the West Bank.

The three teenagers were abducted in the West Bank near the city of Hebron on 12 June. There are reports that since then, more than 200 Palestinians have been detained in the West Bank in the context of security operations by Israel.

In a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, Mr. Ban conveyed his sympathy for the abducted teenagers and deep solidarity with their families, according to a read-out of the conversation provided by the Secretary-General's spokesperson.

The United Nations chief also voiced concern over the increased violence, mass arrests, and restrictions on movement in the West Bank.

It was imperative, he said, for both political and security reasons, not to give in to provocations in a way that seems likely to escalate tensions further.

He expected all sides to exert efforts to this end, show restraint and to observe human rights standards and international law.

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UN chief condemns abduction of three Israeli youths, urges restraint

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the abduction of three Israeli students in the West Bank, urging everyone to exercise restraint and to support efforts for the release and safe return of the young people, who include two minors.