UN blasts Israel's 'unilateral actions'

United Nations denounces Israel’s approval of new homes in Judea and Samaria, says "unilateral actions" are an obstacle to peace.

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Ben Ariel,

United Nations Headquarters
United Nations Headquarters
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The United Nations on Tuesday denounced Israel’s approval of new homes in Judea and Samaria, saying that "unilateral actions" are an obstacle to peace based on a two-state solution.

Earlier on Tuesday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman announced the approval of 2,500 housing units in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, in order to accommodate the housing needs of the residents and to return their daily routine to normal.

The announcement followed the approval earlier this week of 566 new housing units in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramat Shlomo, Ramot and Pisgat Ze'ev.

"For the secretary general there is no plan B for the two-state solution," UN chief Antonio Guterres's spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Tuesday, hours after Netanyahu and Liberman’s announcement.

"In this respect any unilateral decision that can be an obstacle to the two state goal is of grave concern for the secretary general," he added, according to AFP.

Dujarric said the UN's position on “settlement construction” in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem "has not changed."

"We would include that in the category of unilateral actions," he said, in reference to Israel's announcement.

"There is a need for the two parties to engage in a bona fide negotiation to reach the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, two states for two people," added Dujarric.

The UN’s condemnation follows Monday’s condemnation by France of the Jerusalem construction.

"UN Security Council resolution 2334 of December 23, 2016, underscores the illegality of settlements under international law and demands an immediate and complete halt to such activity," the French Foreign Ministry said.

"Settlements represent a serious threat to the two-state solution, to which the international community reiterated its commitment at the international conference in Paris on January 15. The two-state solution remains the only possibility for a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians," it added.

Meanwhile, White House spokesman Sean Spicer on Tuesday declined to express a position on Israeli construction when asked about it in his daily press briefing.

"Israel continues to be a huge ally of the United States," Spicer said, when asked about Trump's perspective on the Israeli plan to implement the construction plans.

"He wants to grow closer to Israel to make sure it gets the full respect in the Middle East," he continued. "We'll have a conversation with the prime minister."








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