The Secretary-General deplores the announcements today of further Israeli settlement plans in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Settlement activity is contrary to international law and constitutes an obstacle to peace. Any measures that prejudge final status issues will not be recognised by the international community.
The Secretary-General understands that Israel took a difficult step in continuing to release Palestinian pre-Oslo prisoners in the face of deep domestic opposition, and appreciates this gesture. In keeping with the statement by the Quartet on 27 September, the Secretary-General expects the parties to take every possible step to promote conditions conducive to the success of the negotiating process and to refrain from actions that undermine trust.