UN’s Ban Ki-Moon Warns Israel Of ‘Fatal Blow’ To Peace


ban-ki-moonIsraeli settlement plans in a strategically sensitive area of land near East Jerusalem would deal “an almost fatal blow” to peace hopes, UN head Ban Ki-moon has warned.

Palestinians in East Jerusalem could be completely cut off from the rest of the West Bank, he said.

Israel authorised 3,000 additional housing units a day after the UN voted to upgrade Palestinian status.

On Monday, the UK summoned the Israeli envoy to express its concerns.

The UK Foreign Office said Israel should expect a “strong reaction” if it went ahead with its plans.

The UN General Assembly backed a proposal last Thursday by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to change the Palestinians’ status at the UN to that of non-member observer state.

In a statement on Sunday, Mr Ban expressed “grave concern and disappointment” over the 3,000 newly authorised Israeli settlement units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu: “We will continue building in Jerusalem and anywhere on Israel’s strategic map”
But he was most adamant that any plans to build in the so-called E1 area – between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim – should be rescinded. An Israeli official has described the proposals in the E1 zone as “preliminary zoning and planning work”.

“It would represent an almost fatal blow to remaining chances of securing a two-state solution,” Mr Ban said.

The UK said it was urging Israel to reconsider the settlements plan, saying it “threatens the two state solution and makes progress through negotiations harder to achieve”.

Agence France-Presse quoted an Israeli embassy spokesman in Paris as saying that the ambassador there had also been summoned over the issue.

The US said earlier the expansion plan was counter-productive and would make it harder to resume peace talks, and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she was “extremely worried” by prospects of large-scale construction.

Mahmoud Abbas has called for an end to settlement building and a return to peace talks.

Returning from New York on Sunday, he told thousands of flag-waving supporters in Ramallah: “Now we have a state.”
The BBC’s Yolande Knell said there was a mood of celebration in Ramallah
At a meeting on Sunday of the Israeli cabinet, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the Palestinian campaign as a “gross violation” of previous agreements with Israel.

And he also brushed off international criticism of Israel’s settlement plans.

“We will carry on building in Jerusalem and in all the places that are on the map of Israel’s strategic interests,” he added.

Plans for construction in the E1 envelope are strongly opposed by Palestinians, who say such development will prevent the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state.

The Israeli announcement of its settlement plans was a first indication of Israeli anger, less than 24 hours after the vote on Palestinian status was held at the UN, the BBC’s Kevin Connolly in Jerusalem says.

In a separate development, the Israeli government also said that it would be stopping a $100m (£62m) transfer of tax revenues that it collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.

Israel said it was because the Palestinians had not settled a $200m debt to an Israeli electricity firm.

However, Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz warned last month that if the Palestinians went ahead with the UN bid Israel would “not collect taxes for them and we will not transfer their revenues”.

About 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since the occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel disputes this.

Two decades of on-off negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have failed to produce a permanent settlement, with the latest round of direct negotiations breaking down in 2010.

Read more from the BBC.

{Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. As I said before, Netanyahu is nuts to do this. Check the BBC website for what’s being said in Britain – and they’re our friends who refused to vote for the resolution.

    The end result is going to be a world-wide economic boycott of Israel, forcing Israel to return the entire West Bank, tear down most of the separation fence, and share control over East Jerusalem.

    To repeat, international politics is not a paratroop raid. You have to have smarts. Pure machismo doesn’t cut it. Good old Jewish seichel is what’s needed. Evidently Bibi forgot his in the TV studio.

  2. Mr. Ban, you have already dealt a fatal blow to peace by allowing the travesty of upgrading the Phillisitne monstrosity to observer state status.

  3. This is the fatal blow to piece? Maybe he doesn’t remember the recent Palestinian bid for Statehood, or thousands of rockets fired from Gaza.

  4. Oldtimer, Netanyahu is not nuts. The vast, vast majority of those housing units are in areas that, in the event that there will ever be a 2-state solution (which there won’t because the Palestinians aren’t interested in one), will have to be part of Israel in any case.

    The world knows this, by the way.

    Does it not strike you as ironic that some 3,000 apartment buildings are getting far more condemnation than Hamas rockets for being “obstacles to peace”?

    Wake up. The BBC, CNN, MSNBC and the rest of the mainstream media alphabet soup are going to condemn Israel no matter what it does. Halachah she’Eisav sonei l’Yaakov.