UN chief criticizes Israel for illegal settlement activities

 UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has criticized Israel for its continued illegitimate settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The UN chief made the remarks during a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday.

“The [Israeli] prime minister knows that occupying Palestinian land is not the long-term solution to Israel’s regional challenges,” he said.

On Thursday, Ban met with acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, where he expressed serious concerns about Israel’s illegal settlement activities on Palestinian lands.

“I am deeply troubled by Israel’s continuing settlement activity in the (occupied) West Bank, including East Jerusalem (al-Quds),” Ban said.

“The settlement activity is deepening the Palestinian people’s mistrust in the seriousness on the Israeli side toward achieving peace. It will ultimately render a two-state solution impossible,” he added.

On Wednesday, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators held a new round of talks amid a strict official news blackout.

In an interview with Press TV on August 2, Iranian political analyst Hamid Golpira said that Israelis want neither a one-state solution nor a two-state solution for Palestine, rather they want a no-state solution.

“The two-state solution, if it could happen in a proper way, could even be an acceptable thing for the people who want a one-state solution in the future. They could see it… as one step toward a one-state solution,” Golpira said.

He added that what “some of the Israelis, especially people like Mr. Netanyahu, are presenting… neither is the one-state solution nor is the two-state solution. It is more of a no-state solution, meaning, they want no state for Palestine, or no viable state.

“If they want to say this piece is separated and that piece is separated; certain sovereignty does not exist; this country cannot have an army, East Jerusalem (al-Quds) does not belong there, you could say that this proposal is a no-state solution, which is totally not acceptable in every way. The no-state solution is not acceptable.”

Israel has announced plans to build more than 3,000 new settlement units on the occupied Palestinian land.

The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbids construction on occupied lands.


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