UN Secretary General “Alarmed” at Israel’s Announced Seizure of West Bank Land
UNITED NATIONS, 8 Sep 2014
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 1 September 2014 voiced his alarm at the announcement by Israeli authorities to declare nearly 1,000 acres of land in Bethlehem as so-called “state land.”
“The seizure of such a large swathe of land risks paving the way for further settlement activity, which – as the United Nations has reiterated on many occasions – is illegal under international law and runs totally counter to the pursuit of a two-State solution,” Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.
The Secretary-General called on Israel to “heed the calls of the international community” to refrain from settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law and the Quartet Road Map – the plan which calls for Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and within secure borders, according to a UN release.
Senior UN officials, including Ban, have repeatedly urged both parties to exercise prudence and to avoid taking unilateral actions on the ground that would further diminish the chances of reaching a negotiated final peace agreement.
Ban Deeply Concerned at Reported Israeli Settlement Expansion in West Bank
On 5 June 2014 Ban Ki-moon said he is deeply concerned by reports that Israeli authorities have issued tenders for the construction of over 1,400 new housing units in settlements in the West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem, the UN reported.
“As the United Nations has reiterated on many occasions, the building of settlements on occupied territory is illegal under international law,” said a statement issued by Ban’s spokesperson.
Ban has, on previous occasions, urged on both parties to exercise prudence and to avoid taking unilateral actions on the ground that would further diminish the chances of reaching a negotiated final peace agreement.
“The Secretary-General calls on Israel to heed the calls of the international community to freeze settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law and the Road Map,” the spokesperson added, referring to the plan which calls for Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace and within secure borders.
Israelis and Palestinians have been engaged since last August in United States-brokered talks to reach a comprehensive peace agreement, resuming negotiations that had ended in September 2010 when Israel refused to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.
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