UN chief urges Israel to freeze settlement activity

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to freeze settlement activity and abide by international law after authorities unveiled plans to build 3,200 new settler homes.

AFP| Updated: Jun 06, 2014, 05:06 AM IST

United Nations: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel on Thursday to freeze settlement activity and abide by international law after authorities unveiled plans to build 3,200 new settler homes.

Ban is "deeply concerned" by reports that Israel issued the tenders for construction, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
"As the United Nations has reiterated on many occasions, the building of settlements on occupied territory is illegal under international law," he said in a statement.

He reiterated a call from Ban on both parties "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 roadmap," he said.

Israel unveiled the plans in retaliation for the formation of a Palestinian unity government backed by Hamas and the international community, drawing a furious reaction from the Palestinians, who pledged to seek an anti-settlement resolution at the UN Security Council for the first time in more than three years.