UN chief calls for end to 'occupation', settlements

Speaking while on visit to Lebanon, Ban Ki-moon warns that status quo "guarantees" future conflict.

Ban Ki-moon in Lebanon 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Ban Ki-moon in Lebanon 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday slammed Israeli settlements as illegal and called for an end to the “occupation,” AFP reported.
Speaking at a conference on democracy in the Arab world in Beirut, Ban said that “the Israeli occupation of Arab and Palestinian territories” and “violence against civilians” must end.
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“Settlements, new and old, are illegal. They work against the emergence of a viable Palestinian state,” the UN chief stated.
Ban added: “A two-state solution is long overdue. The status quo offers only the guarantee of future conflict.”
The UN secretary general also addressed the wider Arab world, calling on Syrian President Bashar Assad to “stop killing” his people.
Ban angered Hezbollah during his visit to Lebanon, when he called on the Shi'ite group to give up its weapons on Friday.
Ban said he was “deeply concerned about the military capacity of Hezbollah and...the lack of progress in disarmament.”
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah shot back, “We want you [the UN], the US and Israel to be concerned.”
“Our concern is that our people are comforted that there is a resistance in Lebanon and we will not allow a new occupation or another violation,” Nasrallah said in a video message to a Shi’ite religious event on Saturday.