Speaking at the United Nations Security Council, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized Israel’s settlement activities, calling them “provocative acts” and an “affront to the Palestinian people, and to the worldwide community.
He added that this act raises questions on the nation’s commitment to a two-state solution amid the growing Palestinian frustration over the nearly 50 years of Israeli military rule.
The criticism comes after the announcement of Israel’s new plans for Jewish settlements in the West Bank. The new plan includes appropriating a large area of fertile land near Jordan, which is in an area where Israel already has many settlement farms.
Watch AJ+ explain Israeli settlements:
The Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem, which are areas Israel captured in the 1967 war. The last round of peace talks broke down in April 2014, and in recent months there has been a surge in violence.
Ban said that he was “deeply troubled” with the reports of the Israeli government declaring 370 acres as state land, on which they will build more than 150 new homes in “illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.”
Ban said at the United Nations Security Council meeting on the Middle East:
“These provocative acts are bound to increase the growth of settler populations, further heighten tensions, and undermine any prospects for a political road ahead.
“Continued settlement activities are an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community, they rightly raise fundamental questions about Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution.”
During his address Ban called on Israel to freeze building in the settlements, and to apply justice equally for Israelis and Palestinians.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, dismissed Ban’s remarks, saying that they only “bolster terrorism.”
“The Palestinian murderers do not want to build a state; they declare publicly that they want to destroy a state,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “The U.N. has long ago lost its neutrality and its moral powers.
Watch PressTV News Videos report on the Israeli settlements:
The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, said that Washington was strongly opposed to the settlement activity, saying:
“Steps aimed at advancing the Israeli settlement programme… are fundamentally incompatible with the two-state solution, and raise legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions.”
Riyad Mansour, the chief Palestinian delegate for the U.N., called on the Security Council to take action against Israeli settlements, saying:
“It must involve measures by all states and go beyond not rendering aid or assistance to holding Israel accountable for its actions.”
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N., Danny Danon, said that the body has been hypocritical when it comes to Israel, and has ignored Palestinian incitement.
“During the past four months, Israelis have been stabbed in their homes, shot at in the streets, and run over by terrorists using cars as weapons.
“During this period of time, the Council has adopted 12 resolutions against terrorism, and condemned terrorist attacks in France, Sinai, Lebanon, Mali, Tunisia, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Somalia, and Sudan. Not once were the lives of Israelis murdered by terrorists recognized by this council. No condemnation, no expression of solidarity, not even a statement of concern.”
According to The New York Times:
“About 25 Israelis, an American student, and one Palestinian bystander have been killed in the attacks since Oct. 1. About 150 Palestinians have been killed during the same period.
“Up to two-thirds of them have been described by Israel as assailants. Others have been killed during protests and clashes with the Israeli security forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and along Israel’s border with Gaza.”
According to If Americans Knew, at least 11,671 Israelis and 86,974 Palestinians have been injured, and 1,217 Israelis and at least 9,271 Palestinians have being killed since September 29, 2000.
According to Haaretz:
“The Israel Defense Force has said the number of attacks has decline, and the number of demonstrations taking place at the centers of activity in the West Bank. But nevertheless, the latest sequence of attacks in Tekoa, Otniel, Anatot, and on Monday in Beit Horon signal a change in the trend, in which the perpetrators of the attacks are directing their activity against the settlements in the West Bank.
“The army still believes that the attacks were not organized, but rather young people operating without institutional support, with one incident following another and “infecting” it. The latest series of attacks inside the settlements also arouses fear in the defense establishment that it will attract imitators who will try to carry out similar attacks.
“The IDF says that despite the number of shooting attacks during the period of escalation, as for example the murder in Itamar, the number of shooting attacks is still low — and there is potential for greater use of firearms in light of the fact that they are available.
“The explanation, in the opinion of the army, lies in two variables: in the fact that armed Tanzim fighters are not involved in the wave of terror, and the Palestinian public, for the most part, does not participate.”
The Israel-Palestine conflict explained by Vox: