THE LEVANT – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon yesterday expressed dismay over the Israeli authorities’ announcement to confiscate Palestinian land in the West Bank.
According to a statement issued by his spokesman Stephane Dujarric today: “The Secretary-General is alarmed by yesterday’s announcement by Israeli authorities to declare as so-called ‘state land’ nearly 1,000 acres of land in the Bethlehem area of the West Bank.”
Ban said: “The seizure of such a large swathe of land risks paving the way for further settlement activity, which – as the United Nations has reiterated on many occasions – is illegal under international law and runs totally counter to the pursuit of a two-state solution.”
The UN chief urged Israel to respond to the international community’s calls to stop settlement activity and comply with its obligations under international law and the Quartet roadmap.
The Israeli government announced yesterday plans to expropriate 988 acres of Palestinian land in the area of Hebron in the southern West Bank adjacent to the Gush Etzion settlement compound.