UN warns PM over 'int'l law violations' in e. J'lem

In phone call with Netanyahu, Ban urges Israel to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law."

May 16, 2013 20:44
East Jerusalem.

east Jerusalem 370. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

NEW YORK - On a phone call during the past two days, United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon warned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of possible violations of "international humanitarian law" in east Jerusalem.

Ban's primary concerns expressed during the call seem to have been the resumption of peace talks and the denial of access to worshipers of various faiths to Jerusalem's holy sites.

"The Secretary-General conveyed his concerns to the Israeli authorities, urging Israel to abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law," read a press release from Ban's office.

Ban called to address "recent tensions" in the region and specifically warned Netanyahu over "restrictions of access to Muslim and Christian holy sites."

He also spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and expressed similar concerns.

"The Secretary-General stressed to both leaders the importance of respect for the religious freedom of all," the readout said.

Earlier in the week, the secretary-general "welcomed" China's introduction into the Middle East peace process as a step toward "the resumption of meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations."

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