UN chief deplores razing of East Jerusalem hotel for new Israeli settlements

From the United Nations News Centre

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today deplored
the destruction of the Shepherd’s Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem to
make way for new Israeli settlements in the heart of a Palestinian

Israel’s refusal in late September to extend a 10-month freeze on
settlement activity in the Palestinian territory occupied in the 1967
six-day war prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw
from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which
had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus.

Mr. Ban said the demolition which took place yesterday “only serves to
heighten tensions,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

“It is deeply regrettable that growing international concern at
unilateral expansion of illegal Israeli settlements is not being heeded.
Such actions seriously prejudice the possibility of a negotiated
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The Secretary-General again called on the Israeli Government to take
“whatever steps are necessary” to freeze settlement activity anywhere in
occupied territory, the statement added.

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