UN chief tells Israel of concern over East Jerusalem, Gaza
New York: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday raised his concern over developments in East Jerusalem, Israel's heritage sites and the ongoing problems in Gaza Strip in a meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
Ban met with Barak at UN headquarters in New York and urged Israel to take steps to allow the resumption of the peace talks on settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.
Ban expressed concern over Israel's "new demolition order in East Jerusalem and the inclusion of holy sites in occupied West Bank on an Israeli heritage list".
"The Secretary General also expressed concern on the situation in Gaza and his disappointment that Israel has not accepted the UN proposal to kick start a civilian recovery," Nesirky said.
Ban urged Israel to allow construction materials to enter Gaza as part of plans to rebuild facilities destroyed during the Israel-Hamas conflict in the winter of 2009, Nesirky said.
Palestinians and Arab states have protested Israel's decision to include some holy sites in the West Bank in its heritage list for the purpose of refurbishing them.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced the Israeli move as a "provocation" and warned of a "religious war" as a consequence. Israel has rejected the warning.