[QODLink]
Middle East

Ban terms Israeli settlement push illegal

UN chief terms proposed building of 1,000 homes in two occupied West Bank settlements 'violation of international law'.

Last Modified: 14 Jun 2013 18:24
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
An Israeli settlers council on Thursday asked authorities for construction approval in two settlements [Reuters]

Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary-general, has termed Israeli plans to press ahead with the construction of more than 1,000 homes in two occupied West Bank settlements "a violation of international law", according to his spokesperson.

The Israeli announcement to authorise the building of 550 housing units in Bruchin and 537 units in Itamar was also met with condemnation by the United States and Palestine.

"These are unhelpful decisions that undermine progress towards the two-state solution," Martin Nesirky, Ban's spokesperson, said on Friday, a day after the announcement.

"They constitute a deeply worrisome trend at a moment of ongoing efforts to re-launch peace negotiations.''

On Thursday, Rami Hamdallah, the Palestinian prime minister, said the plan to build the settlements was "killing the two state solution".

The continued building of Israeli settlements lies at the heart of an impasse over restarting negotiations on the terms of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The Palestinians hope to build their state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, lands Israel occupied in 1967.

The United States is currently trying to get the long dormant peace talks back on track but the Palestinians say they will not return to the negotiating table as long as Israeli settlement construction continues.

Vehicles torched

Also on Friday, unidentified vandals set two vehicles on fire in an Arab neighbourhood of Jerusalem, in what police say appears to be the latest attach carried out by Jewish extremists.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the words "price tag" were found sprayed on a wall near the cars in Sheikh Jarrah.

The phrase is usually used by Jewish extremists to protest what they perceive to be the Israeli government's pro-Palestinian policies, and to let Palestinians know who attacked them.

Vandals have targeted mosques, churches, dovish Israeli groups and even Israeli military bases with "price tag" graffiti over the years.

In recent weeks, there has been a steady stream of such incidents, including an Arab Christian graveyard vandalised on Thursday and a Jerusalem church defaced two weeks ago.

Rosenfeld said police were searching for the perpetrators.

347

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Lawsuit by 6-year-old girl, locked up for a year, reignites debate over indefinite detention of 'boat people'.
Indonesian and Malaysian authorities are keeping a close eye on local supporters of the hard-line Middle East group.
Citizens of the tiny African nation say they're increasingly anxious of the fallout after alleged coup.
A humanitarian crisis and a budget crisis converge in the heart of the human smuggling corridor in Texas.
Assam officials upset that WWII-era Stillwell Road won't be used in transnational highway linking four Asian nations.
join our mailing list