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    NewsIsraelUN calls on Israel to halt construction of settlements

    UN calls on Israel to halt construction of settlements

    The United Nations on Thursday accused Israel of flagrantly violating international law for expanding its settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which it called illegal, and urged the new Israeli government to immediately halt its expansion.

    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland presented a report on the implementation of a resolution passed in 2016 by the Security Council that declared such settlements to be legally invalid. The 12-page report calls for an end to settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories the Palestinians want for a future state.

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    Wennesland told the council that he was deeply concerned that Israel approved a plan to add 540 housing units to the Har Homa colony in East Jerusalem, as well as the establishment of outposts. He pointed out that this is also illegal according to Israeli law.

    I stress again, in no uncertain terms, that Israeli settlements are in flagrant violation of UN resolutions and international law, the UN envoy stated. They are a major obstacle to the achievement of a two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

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    All settlement activity must cease immediately, Wennesland said.

    Israel rejects that its settlements are illegal.

    Guterres and Wennesland also demanded that Israeli authorities stop the demolition of Palestinian homes and other property, as well as the displacement of Palestinians “another flashpoint,” and approve plans that would allow these communities to build legally and address their development needs.

    The December 2016 resolution, on which the United States abstained from voting in the final weeks of President Barack Obama’s administration, also called for immediate action to prevent acts of violence against civilians, and urged Israel and the Palestinians to exercise restraint and not engage in provocative actions, incitement or inflammatory speech.

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    It also urged all parties to engage in negotiations on final status issues and called for redoubled international and regional diplomatic efforts to help end the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict and achieve a two-state solution in which Israelis and Palestinians can live side by side in peace.

    Guterres and Wennesland made it clear that 4½ years after the adoption of the resolution, none of these calls have been met.

    Alex Dawit
    Alex Dawit
    Alex Dawit is Journalist of the Awutar. He had completed his graduation in Journalism and Communication, Pakistan. He is passionate about News, Blogging & Research Writing. You can contact him via: [email protected]

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