News ID: 152968
Published: 0827 GMT June 10, 2016

UN: Israel ban on Palestinians entry ‘collective punishment’

UN: Israel ban on Palestinians entry ‘collective punishment’

The United Nations criticizes Israel’s cancellation of entry permits for Palestinians, saying the move may amount to the internationally banned act of "collective punishment."

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is deeply concerned about the revocation of permits, adding that the measure "may amount to prohibited collective punishment and will only increase the sense of injustice and frustration felt by Palestinians in this very tense time," spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva on Friday.

The entry permit denial followed a shooting attack took place at an open-air complex in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, leaving four Israelis dead and 16 others injured.

Following the shooting, Israeli forces barred all Palestinians from entering the Israeli-occupied territories of Palestinian.

The restrictions will deny entry to 83,000 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and some 200 residents of the Gaza Strip into Israel.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli military said on Friday that the ban would remain in force until midnight Sunday.

In accordance with the “directives and the ongoing situation assessment, as of today crossing from the Gaza Strip and Judaea and Samaria (the West Bank) will be open to Palestinians only in medical and humanitarian cases,” the spokeswoman said.

Initial reports said the attackers were dressed as “ultra-Orthodox” Israelis, but Tel Aviv said later they were of the Palestinian origin.

Israel’s move has sparked outrage among Palestinians who believe that they have a duty to visit the al-Aqsa mosque and protect it from settler attacks during the holy month of Ramadan.

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