UN envoy: 'Settlements' are a substantial obstacle to peace

UN envoy Nickolay Mladenov condemns Israeli plans for new construction in Jerusalem and the E1 area.

Elad Benari ,

Nikolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace P
Nikolay Mladenov, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace P
Flash 90

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, on Wednesday condemned Israel’s announcement from last week of new construction in the Givat Hamatos and Har Homa neighborhoods in Jerusalem.

In a statement, Mladenov also criticized Tuesday’s announcement of construction in the E1 area, near Maaleh Adumim.

"I am very concerned about Israel's recent announcements regarding the advancement of settlement construction in Giv'at Hamatos and Har Homa, as well as the worrying plans for 3,500 units in the controversial E1 area of the occupied West Bank,” he said.

“All settlements are illegal under international law and remain a substantial obstacle to peace. If the E1 plan were to be implemented, it would sever the connection between northern and southern West Bank, significantly undermining the chances for establishing a viable and contiguous Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution,” continued Mladenov.

The UN envoy urged Israel “to refrain from such unilateral actions that fuel instability and further erode the prospects for resuming Palestinian-Israeli negotiations on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the announcement on the new construction in Jerusalem last Thursday together with Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion. The construction approved includes 3,000 housing units in Jerusalem's Givat Hamatos and 2,200 housing units in the city's Har Homa neighborhood.

The announcement about E1 was made by Netanyahu on Tuesday. Both announcements were denounced by the Palestinian Authority (PA), which views the areas in question as part of a future Palestinian state.




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