Wednesday, 9 September 2009


The Israeli Government's recent approval of additional settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territory has sparked Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's deep concern, with the United Nations chief reiterating his call for an end to all settlement activity.

The illegal building is contrary to both international law and the so-called Roadmap plan for Israel and Palestine to live side by side in peace, Mr. Ban said in a <"">statement issued today by his spokesperson.

He "urges Israel to respond positively to the important efforts under way to create the conditions for effective Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and reiterates his call on Israel to stop all settlement activity, including natural growth, and dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001 in the occupied Palestinian territory," it added.

In a move widely condemned by UN officials, Israel last month forced dozens of people registered with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (<"">UNRWA) from their home in the Arab neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem.

Israeli settlers moved into the empty homes, with the evicted families' belongings loaded on to trucks and dumped at the edge of a busy Jerusalem road.

According to Robert Serry, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, the evictions flout the united calls by the international community, including those by the diplomatic Quartet comprising the UN, the United States, the European Union and Russia.

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