Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon deplored the Israeli Government's decision today to expand Jerusalem’s Gilo settlement, stressing that it was built on Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in the 1967 war.
“The Secretary-General reiterates his position that settlements are illegal, and calls on Israel to respect its commitments under the Road Map to cease all settlement activity, including natural growth,” a statement issued by his spokesperson said, referring to the peace plan that foresees two States – Israel and Palestine – living side by side in peace and security.
“He believes that such actions undermine efforts for peace and cast doubt on the viability of the two-State solution,” it added.
It was the latest of several recent statements by Mr. Ban calling for a halt to Israeli settlement activity and the demolition of Palestinian homes and evictions in East Jerusalem. Last month he stated that Jerusalem must be the capital of two States – Israel and Palestine – with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all, if peace in the Middle East is to be achieved.