Ban Ki-moon
Photo: AFP
UN chief 'concerned' by settlement expansion
Ban Ki-moon said to be deeply concerned by Jerusalem's decision to greenlight construction of 455 homes in West Bank

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed "deep concern" Wednesday, about Israel's decision to approve new settler homes in the West Bank and urged the Jewish state to end all such activity.


"Such actions and all settlement activity are contrary to international law and the roadmap," said a statement read out by UN spokesman Farhan Haq.


The 2003 Middle East roadmap drawn up by international mediators called on Israel to halt settlement expansion in the West Bank and for the Palestinians to rein in militants.


Ban reiterated UN appeals to Israel to "stop all settlement activity, including natural growth" and respond positively to efforts to create conditions for Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.


Israel approved on Monday the building of 455 settler homes, a move opposed by its ally Washington and by Palestinians but which may pave the way for a construction moratorium sought by the United States.


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