UN chides Israel for stepping up settlement plans

UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday criticized Israel for speeding up settlement construction and urged it not to withhold tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority.
"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned at the decisions announced by the government of Israel in response to the decision of UNESCO's General Conference in favor of Palestinian membership," Ban's press office said in a statement.
The statement reiterated the UN position that settlement activity in occupied Palestinian territory is "contrary to international law" and would undermine efforts aimed at resuming moribund peace talks between the two sides.