United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has strongly condemned Tel Aviv’s latest plans to construct illegal settlement units in Palestinian territories, calling on the Israeli regime to scrap the projects.
Ban "strongly deplores the advancement of settlement activities on three occasions over the past three consecutive weeks" in the West Bank and in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), the UN chief's spokesperson said in a statement released on Friday.
The UN chief reiterated that Israeli settlements are “illegal under international law” and urged Tel Aviv “to halt and reverse such decisions in the interest of peace and a just final status agreement."
"The international community will not recognize unilateral actions on the ground and that the status of Jerusalem can only be resolved through negotiations," Ban added.
The remarks came a day after the Israeli Housing Ministry issued new tenders for the constructions of 85 settlement units just five kilometers northwest of occupied al-Quds and of 1,500 hotel rooms in the city’s Jabal al-Mokabber neighborhood.
On May 7, Tel Aviv approved the construction of 900 new illegal settler units in East al-Quds, the move was criticized by the European Union (EU), which described it as an obstacle to the so-called peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.
The Israeli Interior Ministry had already announced a plan to build hundreds of settler homes in the same neighborhood in East al-Quds. However, construction was delayed because the planning committee said new roads need to be built first.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967.
Israel occupied and then annexed the West Bank and East al-Quds in the Six-Day War of 1967, but the move has never been recognized by the international community.
Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the besieged Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.