6 MAY 2021

The following is a near-verbatim transcript of today’s noon briefing by Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

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Jerusalem

Moving on to Jerusalem, Tor Wennesland, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, said that he was deeply concerned by the surge in tensions and violence in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem, since the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.

Mr. Wennesland reiterated that the Israeli security forces must exercise maximum restraint and use lethal force only when strictly unavoidable in order to protect life.  Perpetrators of violence on all sides must be held accountable and swiftly brought to justice.

He added that the latest developments related to the eviction of Palestine refugee families in Sheikh Jarrah and other neighbourhoods in occupied East Jerusalem are also very worrying.  He urged Israel to cease demolitions and evictions, in line with its obligations under international humanitarian law.

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Questions and Answers

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Question:  Okay.  My question is about that the Israeli court delayed the eviction for the… until Monday.  I saw the statement on his Twitter by Mr. Tor Wennesland calling on Israel to stop the eviction of the Sheikh Jarrah, of people there.  However, from now until Monday, do you expect him to contact the Israel authorities to try to change… convince them to change their mind of evicting the people of Sheikh Jarrah?

Spokesman:  This is an issue… these issues regarding eviction and settlements is one that is regularly raised in meetings between the UN Special Coordinator and his Israeli interlocutors.  And I have no reason to believe that would change.

Question:  Lastly, I have a 16-year-old boy — Said Yousef Mohammad Odeh — was shot and killed last night at 9 south of Nablus.  Are you aware of this incident?

Spokesman:  No, but I will look at it.

Correspondent:  Thank you.

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