Ban Ki-moon Says Jewish Settlements “Illegal”


ban-ki-moonVisiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said today that Israeli settlement activities “in all the Palestinian territories are illegal,” while violent clashes between the Palestinians and the Israelis flared and killed one Palestinian in the West Bank.”The world has condemned Israel’s expansion plans in East Jerusalem,” Ban told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, adding “let us be clear: all settlement activity is illegal anywhere in occupied Palestinian territory, and this must stop.”

Ban arrived in Ramallah on Wednesday, accompanied by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who showed him some sites around the city that Israel intends to confiscate. Before they hold their official meeting, Fayyad showed Ban maps of the confiscated lands.

Ban’s visit is the second of its kind to the Palestinian territories since last winter’s 22-day Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip. Ban’s visit today comes a day after he joined a meeting of the international Quartet, which groups Russia, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations, on the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Upon arrival, Ban inspected the concrete barrier Israel is building in the occupied West Bank to secure its settlements. Ban said the Jewish settlements complicate the situation, urging Israel to take more steps to ease the life of the Palestinians.

Following his meeting with Fayyad, Ban told a joint news conference that the U.S. proposed proximity peace talks would be resumed soon.”The indirect talks, proposed by the U.S., is a step for the final, direct talks,” Ban said, insisting that talks “are the only way to resolve the conflict between the two sides.”

“It should lead to establishing a Palestinian statehood on the lands Israel occupied in 1967, including East Jerusalem,” he added.

Ban will visit the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip again tomorrow.

{Xinhua/Yair Israel}


  1. At least one Odom Godol was quoted as saying that there will be no sholom in the world in genral if there is not sholom in Eretz Yisroeil.
    There can be no peace under Ban’s conditions.