UN chief: Continued settlement construction is "contrary to int'l law"

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday said Israel's plans to continue building settlements in the West Bank are "contrary to international law." According to AFP, Ban "noted with deep concern" Defense Minister Ehud Barak's approval of 455 new housing units in in Judea and Samaria settlements on Monday. "Such actions and all settlement activity are contrary to international law and the roadmap," a statement released by Ban's bureau reportedly said, referring to the international plan for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. "The Secretary-General urges Israel to respond positively to the important efforts under way to create the conditions for effective Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and reiterates his call on Israel to stop all settlement activity, including natural growth, and dismantle all outposts erected since March 2001 in the occupied Palestinian territory," Ban stressed.