Israel Rejects UN Chief’s Call to Stop Settlements

Israel has rejected calls by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to stop its illegal settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.
 
During a joint press conference with the UN chief in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that a halt in the illegal settlement activities “cannot be a precondition” to continue the Palestinian-Israeli talks.
 
Talks between the Palestinians and Israelis stalled in September 2010 after Israel declined to renew a 10-month freeze on its illegal settlement construction in the West Bank.
 
Ban also met with acting Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Wednesday.
 
Abbas referred to several meetings between the Palestinian Authority representatives and Israelis in Jordan over the past few weeks and said Israel did not present “any encouraging proposal that we could advance with.”
 
“Israel continues to establish facts on the ground, to build settlements and take control of lands in Jerusalem and the West Bank. This is something we cannot accept, not today and not tomorrow,” Abbas added during a press conference with the UN chief.
 
Ban said all the Israeli settlements in the West Bank are “contrary to international law.”
 
Abbas is expected to meet with the Arab League foreign ministers on February 4 to discuss the future of the talks with Israel.
 
About 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlement units built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
 
(Press TV)

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