UN chief Ban Ki-Moon wants review of Israeli use of force in clashes with Palestinians

An Israeli policeman checks a Palestinian man at the Damascus Gate of the old city as security measures are increased in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
An Israeli policeman checks a Palestinian man at the Damascus Gate of the old city as security measures are increased in Jerusalem on Tuesday.PHOTO: EPA

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged Israel on Tuesday to carry out a "serious review" on whether its security forces are resorting to excessive force in clashes with Palestinians.

Ban finds "the apparent excessive use of force by Israeli security forces" to be "troubling", his spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters as violence continued in Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

This "demands serious review as it only serves to exacerbates the situation leading to a vicious cycle of needless bloodshed," he said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday Israel would use "all means" available to end Palestinian violence and that new security measures were planned.

The UN chief was due to sit down with Security Council envoys for a luncheon meeting on Tuesday to discuss mounting Israeli-Palestinian violence.

A ministerial-level meeting of the Security Council on the crisis in the Middle East is scheduled for Oct 22.

After initially breaking out with attacks and violent protests in annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, unrest has spread to Gaza, with clashes along the border in recent days leaving nine Palestinians dead from Israeli fire.

The violence began on October 1, when an alleged Hamas cell shot dead a Jewish settler couple in the West Bank in front of their children.

There were repeated clashes at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound in September between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths.