The UN’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process has warned that inaction towards Israel’s “increasingly worrying” illegal settlement activities is endangering efforts to establish an independent Palestinian state.
“Inaction has a cost -- a cost measured in human lives and suffering,” said Nickolay Mladenov on Wednesday while addressing the United Nations Security Council.
Calling on Israel to halt its settlement expansion activities, Mladenov noted that such actions are dangerously changing the situation in the region.
“The situation on the ground is changing steadily, dangerously, as proponents of Israeli settlement expansion feel emboldened, internal divisions among Palestinians flare up, and the prospect of a future Palestinian state comes under threat like never before,” said Mladenov.
He also stressed that those who oppose a Palestinian state “offer no viable alternative.”
“The alternative is an open-ended occupation, a perpetual conflict which breeds anger among the people of Palestine and Israel,” he added.
Mladenov made the remarks after the Israeli regime revived an initiative for constructing 500 new illegal settler units in East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The new illegal settler units will be built on a 76-acre lot between Ramat Shlomo and the Palestinian neighborhood of Shuafat after expropriating private Palestinian land in the area.
Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The Tel Aviv regime has defied international calls to stop its illegal construction activities, with its settlement expansion being among the main reasons behind the collapse of the last round of the so-called Middle East peace talks in 2014.