Ban calls on Israel to halt building in W. Bank, e. J'lem

"The occupation that started in 1967 is morally and politically unsustainable, and must end," statement from UN chief says.

March 30, 2011 01:34
1 minute read.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon 311 R. (photo credit: REUTERS/ Joshua Lott)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel to halt building in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem in a statement read at a regional meeting supporting Israeli-Palestinian peace in Uruguay on Tuesday.

"The occupation that started in 1967 is morally and politically unsustainable, and must end. The Palestinians have a legitimate right to the establishment of an independent and viable state of their own," Ban told the told the UN Latin American and Caribbean Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace, convened by the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in a message delivered by Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez-Taranco.

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“Israel has the right to live in peace and security within internationally recognized and secure borders. A way must be found for Jerusalem to emerge as a capital of two States, Israel and Palestine, with arrangements for holy sites acceptable for all. And there must be a just and agreed solution to the prolonged plight of the Palestinian refugees,” the statement added.

Ban praised the Palestinian Authority's efforts to build state institutions and the PA security forces for maintaining security in the West Bank, while calling on Israel to halt "actions that prejudge the outcome of the [diplomatic] process."

The UN secretary general added that efforts to "break the deadlock" in the peace process must be intensified.

“The target dates for reaching an Israeli-Palestinian agreement on permanent status issues and completing the Palestinian Authority’s two-year State-building program are fast-approaching. Yet, the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations remain at a worrying standstill," Ban's statement said.

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