by Staff Reporter
June 16, 2013 (TSR) – Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has criticized Israel’s settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, calling the move a “violation of international law.”
Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said on Friday that the UN chief is deeply concerned about Israel moving forward with a plan to build more than 1,000 new illegal units in two West Bank settlements.
“They constitute a deeply worrisome trend at a moment of ongoing efforts to re-launch peace negotiations,” Nesirky said.
The United States also on Friday slammed the Israeli regime for its settlement activates on the occupied Palestinian territories.
“The secretary has expressed his concern in the past both publicly and in private conversations.” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said in a statement.
An Israeli regime spokesman said on Thursday that the new homes will be built in Itamar and Bruchin settlements, located in an area of the West Bank which Israel occupied in 1967.
On the same day, Nabil Shaath, an adviser to acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, said the latest Israeli move shows Tel Aviv “is destroying the two-state solution and the prospects of a peace deal in deeds and words.”
The Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestine have created a major obstacle to the Middle East peace process.
A report released last month revealed that the Israeli regime confiscated 1,977 acres of the Palestinian lands in the occupied West Bank for its settlement activity during 2012.
The settlements, which cover an area roughly equal to 1,035 soccer fields and twice as big as New York’s Central Park, were approved by “military order,” the Israeli daily Haaretz reported on May 27.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.