UN chief demands end to 'illegal' Israeli settlements

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UN chief demands end to “illegal”Israeli settlement”

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres. (File photo)

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Wednesday demanded a “stop” to “illegal” Israeli settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories , while condemning “terrorism” amid renewed violence in the West Bank.

Each new settlement is one more obstacle on the road to peace. All settlement activity is illegal under international law and must end. At the same time, inciting violence is a dead end. There is no justification for terrorism [which] must be rejected by all, Guterres told the UN Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. p>

This committee, created in 1975, was meeting at the United Nations headquarters in New York when 10 Palestinians, including a 16-year-old boy, were killed and more than 80 others wounded by bullets during an Israeli military raid in Nablus, according to the Palestinian Authority. This city is the scene of recurrent and deadly clashes in the north of the occupied West Bank.

It is the deadliest incursion into the West Bank since at least 2005, tied with that of January 26 in Jenin, also in the northern West Bank, during which 10 Palestinians, including fighters and a sixty-year-old, had been killed.

Mr. Guterres called the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory the most inflamed in years with tensions at their highest amid a stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Our immediate priority must be to prevent further escalation, reduce tensions and restore calm, pleaded the secretary-general, in the presence of the Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour.< /p>

The latter warned that the Palestinian territory was on the verge of a massive eruption because of the policies and practices, in particular, of this Israeli government in power since last December.< /p>

We will work with you, Mr. Secretary-General, but we must act, urged the Palestinian diplomat, addressing Mr. Guterres before a UN body where many Arab and Muslim countries sit. /p>

We are losing credibility, you are losing credibility, Mr. Mansour lamented again.

On Monday, the UN Security Council #x27;UN denounced, for the first time in six years, Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories, in a statement that angered Israel.

The Israel's continued settlement activities jeopardize the viability of the two-state solution, the Council said in the presidency statement, endorsed by consensus by its 15 members, but which lacks the binding scope of the resolution envisaged last week, which displeased the Americans.

The Office of the Prime Minister isr aelian, Binyamin Netanyahu, immediately denounced a unilateral declaration denying the right of Jews to live in their historic homeland, ignoring the Palestinian terrorist attacks in Jerusalem in recent weeks.

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