New York

02 October 2003

Secretary-General's statement on the situation in the Middle East

The Secretary-General is deeply disturbed by the Government of Israel's decisions to proceed with the construction of the separation wall deep in the West Bank and to build 600 new housing units in West Bank settlements. In keeping with the 26 September statement of the Quartet, he views both the security wall and settlements in the West Bank built on Palestinian land as serious obstacles to the achievement of a two-State solution.

Moreover, the wall continues to cause great hardship to thousands of Palestinian families. In addition, the Secretary-General has repeatedly expressed his view that settlements are a clear breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention and also contradict Israel's commitments under the Quartet's Road Map.