Israel’s approval of new settlement alarms UN, Palestinians

Author: Reuters, AFPSat, 2017-04-01 03:00ID: 1490998538318552100
NEW YORK: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is disappointed and alarmed by Israel’s decision to build a new settlement on land the Palestinians seek for a state, his spokesman said on Friday.
Israel’s security Cabinet on Thursday approved the building of the first new settlement in the occupied West Bank in two decades, even as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu negotiates with Washington on a possible curb of settlement activity.
“The secretary-general has consistently stressed that there is no Plan B for Israelis and Palestinians to live together in peace and security,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
“He condemns all unilateral actions that, like the present one, threaten peace and undermine the two-state solution,” he said.
The US warned that “unrestrained” building of settler homes could hinder peace.
The Palestinians reacted angrily as what is widely seen as the most right-wing government in Israeli history presses ahead with settlement expansion in defiance of international concern.
US President Donald Trump’s administration refrained from criticizing the new settlement, but warned that further expansion could undermine peace efforts.
“While the existence of settlements is not in itself an impediment to peace, further unrestrained settlement activity does not help advance peace,” a White House official said.
“Going forward… the Israeli government has made clear that Israel’s intent is to adopt a policy regarding settlement activity that takes President Trump’s concerns into consideration.”
Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said Israel “continues to destroy the prospects of peace.”
He also criticized the UN, EU and US for not doing enough to punish Israel for continuing to expand settlements in the West Bank.
“Peace is not going to be achieved by tolerating such crimes,” he said.
Main category: Middle-EastTags: Arab IsraelisIsraelIsraeli settlementsJerusalemrelated_nodes: Iranian women players snookered for ‘un-Islamic’ actsUN Security Council honors victims of London attackLawmakers back measures to protect Israel by punishing Iran

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