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World News in Brief: West Bank violence, top aid official visits Hroza, Advisory Group on local governments

A checkpoint in Hebron, in Palestine's West Bank.
© UNICEF/Ahed Izhiman
A checkpoint in Hebron, in Palestine's West Bank.

World News in Brief: West Bank violence, top aid official visits Hroza, Advisory Group on local governments

UN Affairs

The UN Middle East envoy has condemned the new wave of attacks across the Israeli-occupied West Bank. One Palestinian was shot dead during clashes on Friday between Palestinians and Israeli settlers and Israeli security forces.

“I condemn today’s attack by Israeli settlers against Palestinians and their property in the town of Huwwara in occupied West Bank,” the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Tor Wennesland, said in a statement.  

Huwara is located on the main road connecting the northern city of Nablus to Ramallah and Jerusalem and is surrounded by Israeli settlements.  

The town has become the scene of repeated settler assaults on Palestinians, military restrictions and shooting attacks on Israelis.

On Thursday, a suspected Palestinian gunman shot at a car in Huwara carrying three members of an Israeli family who were unharmed. Israeli security forces tracked him down and killed him.

This came hours after two Palestinian gunmen and five Israeli soldiers were wounded in separate clashes.

“I'm outraged by the continued incitement, provocations, and lack of accountability for these violent crimes,” Mr. Wennesland said.

“I call on leaders to work now to reduce tensions, hold perpetrators accountable and stop this senseless cycle of violence.”  

Humanitarian Coordinator visits Hroza

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine, Denise Brown, visited Hroza on Friday, less than 24 hours after the airstrike that killed dozens of civilians.

According to news reports, a Russian missile strike on Thursday killed at least 51 people, including a child, in the village, which is located near the eastern city of Kupiansk.

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Ms. Brown said it is a barbaric consequence of the war in Ukraine that 20 per cent of a community can be wiped out in mere seconds.

According to the latest death toll, the attack wiped out about one fifth of the village, which was home to 330 people

The humanitarian community is working to support civilians in the area. The UN and partners are mobilizing assistance – including medical supplies and health support, shelter maintenance kits, non-food items, cash and hygiene assistance – as well as mental health and psycho-social support.

UN to Launch Advisory Group on Local and Regional Governments

UN Secretary-General António Guterres launched his Advisory Group on Local and Regional Governments, through its first hybrid meeting among its 20 members.  

“As we consider ways to make multilateral institutions more effective, and to meet the current and future challenges facing people and planet, we need the perspectives and engagement of local and regional authorities”, he said during the opening of the meeting on Friday.

The Advisory Group encompasses 15 representatives of local and regional governments, nominated by the Global Taskforce, and leaders from five countries, Colombia, India, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Spain, with responsibilities or recognized expertise on multi-level governance.  

Members will work over a one-year period and meet with the Secretary-General on three occasions to inform on local and regional governments’ dimensions for consideration in preparatory processes of the Summit of the Future next September.

The Summit will provide an opportunity for countries to enhance cooperation on critical challenges and reaffirm commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), among other objectives.

The Advisory Group will also address modalities and means to enhance institutional mechanisms to strengthen engagement of local and regional governments.

It is expected to produce a set of recommendations with strategic guidance in the run up to the Summit of the Future.