Ban asks Israel to freeze settlement-building

2016-01-26 21:42
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (iStock)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (iStock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

New York - Progress toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians requires that Israel freeze its settlement-building, the UN secretary general said on Tuesday, calling the settlement activities "an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community".

Addressing the UN Security Council's periodic Middle East debate, Ban Ki-moon also urged both sides to act now "to prevent the two-state solution from slipping away forever". He condemned rocket fire from militant groups in Gaza into Israel and called for an end to incitement.

"As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation," Ban said.

Dozens of people on both sides have died in four months of violence, which Israel blames on Palestinian incitement. Palestinians say the attacks stem from frustration at nearly five decades of Israeli military rule.

Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour urged the council to act.

Israel's UN ambassador, Danny Danon, did not address settlement-building. He instead showed reporters what he called "terror dolls" that he said are used to teach hatred to Palestinian children.

The comments by Ban and others came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this week said his government is committed to West Bank settlements. Ban said he was "deeply troubled" by new reports that Israel's government has approved plans for more than 150 new homes in settlements in the West Bank.

Last week, Israel approved the expropriation of about 150ha of land in another part of the territory. Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war. Palestinians demand the territory as part of their future state.

Most of the international community views Israeli settlements in the territory as illegal or illegitimate. US Ambassador Samantha Power told the council that the United States "strongly opposes settlement activity" but added that "settlement activity can never in itself be an excuse for violence".

Israel says the fate of the settlements should be resolved in peace talks, along with other core issues like security and borders.

Read more on:    un  |  palestine  |  israel  |  middle east peace

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.