The Secretary-General is following with concern developments regarding the announced plans for Israeli settlement construction in the so-called E1 area, on which he expressed his grave disappointment in his statement of 2 December. He notes that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law. The Secretary-General repeats his call that any such settlement plans for E-1 must be rescinded.
He notes that the recent Palestinian demonstrations in the E1 area, as well as the Israeli evacuation of the protesters, were largely non-violent. The Secretary-General stresses the importance for protests to continue to remain peaceful and for the right to peaceful protest to be fully respected.
In this particularly difficult period for the region, all concerned should make serious efforts towards creating the conditions for a resumption of meaningful peace negotiations and to protect the future of the peace process, which is in danger.