UN chief urges Israel to call off E1 settlement

Tuesday, January 15, 2013
UN chief's Deputy Spokesperson Eduardo del Buey
briefing press at UN headquarters [PHOTO: UNifeed] 
New York: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday said Israel's plans to building 3,000 housing units east of Jerusalem was illegal under international law, and the project should be dropped.

Ban's Deputy Spokesperson Eduardo del Buey told the regular press briefing at UN headquarters that the Secretary-General, "notes that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law." 

 Del Buey said, "The Secretary-General is following with concern developments regarding the announced plans for Israeli settlement construction in the so-called E1 area, on which he expressed his grave disappointment in his statement of 2 December.

He notes that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law.  The Secretary-General repeats his call that any such settlement plans for E-1 must be rescinded."

Referring to demonstrations in the area just east of Jerusalem over the weekend and the Israeli efforts to remove a tent city, del Buey said the Secretary-General, "notes that the recent Palestinian demonstrations in the E1 area, as well as the Israeli evacuation of the protesters, were largely non-violent.  The Secretary-General stresses the importance for protests to continue to remain peaceful and for the right to peaceful protest to be fully respected."

"In this particularly difficult period for the region, all concerned should make serious efforts towards creating the conditions for a resumption of meaningful peace negotiations and to protect the future of the peace process, which is in danger,"  he said.

On 2 December, a spokesman said the project, "risks completely cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank."

Announced by Israeli authorities last month, construction in E1 – a West Bank territory that Israel captured in 1967 – would connect a large Jewish settlement to Jerusalem, according to media reports.

However, according to media reports, the move would also reportedly divide the West Bank in two, rendering a viable, contiguous and sovereign Palestinian State impossible to achieve in accordance with the two-State solution contained in the internationally approved plan that seeks to resolve the issue on the basis of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and within secure borders.
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