Ban Ki-moon speaking 311 AP.
(photo credit: Associated Press)
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized the continued building of settlements in the West Bank, calling them illegal and saying he is "very concerned at the lack of progress towards peace," speaking to a UN General Assembly committee on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Friday, AFP reported.
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Ban said: “Settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law, contravene the Road Map obligations of Israel, undermine confidence, prejudge the outcome of the permanent status negotiations and hamper efforts at bringing the parties back to the negotiating table," according to the report.
The move followed the submission of a UN Security Council draft
resolution on Wednesday Sources said the proposal was brought to the
table in order to show the Palestinians’ and Lebanese’ seriousness of
intent on the issue of settlements, but with the idea that the
resolution would not be brought to a vote until next month at the
It condemns “the continuation of settlement activities by Israel, the
occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East
Jerusalem,” as well as “all other measures aimed at altering the
demographic composition, character and status of the Territory, in
violation of international humanitarian law and relevant
resolutions.”condemning Israel's settlement activity and demanding it
“immediately and completely” cease all settlement activities “in the
Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.”
The draft resolution, sponsored by 120 countries, was introduced to
place the issue before the Security Council’s jurisdiction. However, it
was not brought to a vote.
The matter was brought to the Security Council despite the opposition of
the United States. America’s representatives have repeatedly asserted
their belief that the Security Council is not the proper forum for
discussions of the peace process, and that bringing the matter up would
not be a “productive step.”
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she strongly
opposes efforts made by the Palestinian Authority to submit a resolution
to UN Security Council condemning Israeli settlements, AFP reported.
"The only way that there will be a resolution of the conflict... is
through a negotiated settlement," Clinton said. "Therefore we do not see
action at the UN or any other forum as being helpful in bringing about
this desired outcome," the report cited Clinton as saying.