The top United Nations envoy to the Middle East today reiterated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for an immediate end to demolitions, evictions and the instalment of Israeli settlers in Palestinian neighbourhoods, as he visited the Sheikh Jarrah area in East Jerusalem, outside a house that was occupied by settlers.
“Provocative actions such as these create inevitable tensions, undermine trust, often have tragic human consequences and make resuming negotiations and achieving a two-State solution more difficult,” read a statement issued by the spokesperson for the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry.
Last week senior UN political official Haile Menkerios told the Security Council that Israel’s refusal to freeze settlement activity was one of several key challenges to the peace process.
Mr. Ban has issued a series of statements recently calling for a halt to Israeli settlement activity and the demolition of Palestinian homes and evictions in East Jerusalem.
In October 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.