UN chief renews call to halt E1 building plans

Ban Ki-moon says he is "following with concern" developments surrounding Israeli building plans in sensitive West Bank corridor.

Palestinian activists erect tents in E1 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian activists erect tents in E1 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday renewed his call for Israel to withdraw construction plans for the controversial E1 area of the West Bank, an undeveloped area in the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement.
Following the evacuation of a Palestinian outpost in the area over the weekend, Ban's spokesperson released a statement in which he said that the UN chief was "following with concern" developments regarding Israel's plans for the area.
Ban stressed that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and "repeated his call that any such settlement plans for E-1 must be rescinded."
He further noted that the Palestinian demonstrations in E1 as well as the Israeli evacuation of the protestors were mostly non-violent, and urged activists to continue to protest peacefully, while emphasizing that their right to peaceful protest must be fully respected.
"In this particularly difficult period for the region, all concerned should make serious efforts towards creating the conditions for a resumption of meaningful peace negotiations and to protect the future of the peace process, which is in danger," he added.
The Palestinian Authority has said that E1 land is needed so the future Palestinian state will be viable and have territorial continuity. It warned that Israeli construction there imperils the two-state solution.
Following the evacuation of the short-lived Palestinian village of Bab Alshama, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that he would not "allow anyone to harm the contiguity between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim.”