UN urges ‘Israel’ to halt settlement expansion immediately

Geneva (QNN)- The United Nations accused Israel of flagrantly violating international law by expanding settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, urging the occupation’s new government to halt their enlargement immediately.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN Mideast envoy Tor Wennesland reported on Thursday the implementation of a 2016 Security Council resolution that declared settlements have “no legal validity”.

The UN demanded a halt to the settlement expansion, which jeopardises the possibility of a future Palestinian state.

Wennesland said in a briefing to the council on Guterres’ 12-page report that he was “deeply troubled” by Israel’s approval of a plan to add 540 housing units to the Har Homa settlement in East Jerusalem as well as the establishment of settlement outposts.

He said that is “illegal also under Israeli law”.

“I again underscore, in no uncertain terms, that Israeli settlements constitute a flagrant violation of United Nations resolutions and international law,” Wennesland said.

“They are a major obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.”

“The advancement of all settlement activity must cease immediately,” Wennesland stated.

Both Guterres and Wennesland also called on Israeli occupation authorities to end the demolition of Palestinian homes and other property and the forced displacement of Palestinians “and to approve plans that would enable these communities to build legally and address their development needs”.

Wennesland said the period between March and June covered in the report “witnessed an alarming increase in the level of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, including hostilities between Israel and factions in Gaza at a scale and intensity not seen in years”.

“I urge all sides to refrain from unilateral steps and provocations, take steps to reduce tensions, and allow these efforts to succeed,” Wennesland told the council.

“Everyone must do their part to facilitate ongoing discussions to stabilise the situation on the ground and avoid another devastating escalation in Gaza.”

On May 10, ‘Israel’ started a deadly aggression on the Gaza Strip, ended with a ceasefire brokered by mediator Egypt on May 21, killing at least 279 Palestinians, including 69 children and 40 women and injuring 1,910 others.

19 families in the Gaza Strip have been wiped off the population civil registry during Israel’s 11-day aggression, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, including 41 children and 25 women.

More than 90,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes, and much of Gaza’s infrastructure and many residential buildings were completely destroyed or levelled.

(Source / 28.06.2021)

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