New York

14 June 2013

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on continued Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank

The Secretary-General is deeply concerned by the continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in violation of international law.  He is particularly troubled by reports that planning for hundreds of housing units in the settlement of Itamar, deep into the West Bank, has advanced to the next stage, as is also the case in the outpost of Bruchin.  These reports follow other recent announcements in Beit El, near Ramallah.

The Secretary-General also remains concerned about reports of plans for around 1,000 settlement units in East Jerusalem and steps to authorize four illegal settlement outposts deep in the West Bank.

These are unhelpful decisions that undermine progress towards the two-state solution.  They constitute a deeply worrisome trend at a moment of ongoing efforts to re-launch peace negotiations.  The Secretary-General calls on Israel to heed the calls of the international community to freeze settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law and the Road Map.