A strongly worded statement by the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General reiterates that settlements are a flagrant violation of international law and relevant UN resolutions. Antonio Guterres, it says, urged the Government of Israel to halt and reverse the expansion of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, to immediately and completely cease all settlements activities there and to respect its relevant legal obligations.
The statement refers to the Monday’s advancement of plans for over 5,500 housing units in Israeli settlements in Area C of the occupied West Bank, including the retroactive regularization, under Israeli law, of three settlement outposts adjacent to the settlement of Eli.
Settlements impede peace
Antonio Guterres emphasized that Israel’s persistent expansion of settlements, including in East Jerusalem, “deepens humanitarian needs, fuels violence, increases the risk of confrontation, further entrenches the occupation, and undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination”.
The UN chief warned that the ongoing settlements are eroding the possibility of establishing a contiguous and viable sovereign Palestinian State, based on the pre-1967 lines and impede the ability to achieve a viable two-State solution, and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.