UN calls on Israel to cancel settlement plan

File photo shows a general view of Ramat Shlomo settlement in East al-Quds (Jerusalem)

File photo shows a general view of Ramat Shlomo settlement in East al-Quds

The United Nations has called on Israel to cancel its new settlement plan as Tel Aviv issues tenders for new settler units in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the occupied West Bank.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned in a press conference on Wednesday that building more settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories could be “an almost fatal blow” to future talks between Israelis and the Palestinian Authority.

Israel has issued tenders for 1,048 new settler units in Har Homa in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) as well as in Beitar, Givat Zeev, and Efrat in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians have threatened to take Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) over its latest decision to build more settler units in the occupied Palestinian territories.

UN undersecretary general for political affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, also told the Security Council that Israel’s settlement construction is a violation of international laws adding, “We strongly urge the Israeli government to heed the international calls to rescind these plans.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Tel Aviv authorities gave the green light for the construction of over 2,600 new settler units which are planned to be built in Givat HaMatos, a village located south of al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Israel increased its settlement activities after an upgrade in the Palestinian status at the United Nations General Assembly on November 29. The 193-member UN General Assembly voted 138-9 with 41 abstentions to upgrade Palestine status to non-member observer state.

On November 30, Israel approved a plan to build 3,000 more units in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) and the occupied West Bank. On December 3, Israel announced that it plans to construct 1,600 new illegal settlements in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

The settlements are considered illegal by the UN and much of the international community. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has remained defiant, saying settlement construction is part of Tel Aviv’s policy and will not stop.

(www.presstv.ir / 19.12.2012)

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