New York

29 July 2015

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

The Secretary-General condemns the announcement today that Israel has approved construction of some 300 housing units in the West Bank settlement of Beit El, as well as the planning and construction of nearly 500 housing units in a number of settlements in East Jerusalem. He reiterates that settlements are illegal under international law, an impediment to peace, and cannot be reconciled with the Government of Israel’s stated intention to pursue a two-state solution. The Secretary-General urges the Government of Israel to halt and reverse such decisions in the interest of peace and a just final status agreement.

The Secretary-General remains concerned about the imminent threat of demolitions in the Palestinian village of Susiya in Area C of the West Bank ahead of a 3 August court hearing on a directly related planning petition. The destruction of private property in occupied territory is prohibited under international humanitarian law, and for which actions there must be accountability.