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UN Secretary General affirms Israeli settlements are illegal

UN secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has repeated his call for Israeli officials to stop construction works in the E1 areas of the occupied West Bank, the Washington Post has reported. UN spokesman Eduardo del Buey said that the UN is following "with concern" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's construction plans in the area.

Ban also affirmed that Israeli settlement in the West Bank is illegal according to international law as the land is being occupied by Israel, but is owned by Palestinians who want to include it in their state.


The E1 area is located to the northeast of Jerusalem alongside Israel's massive Ma'ale Adumim settlement. A plan to build about 15,000 settlement units along with their attendant utilities has been proposed. The latter will include a large police station, an industrial zone, hotels, a rubbish dump and a large cemetery to be shared by Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim.

The government also intends to include Ma'ale Adumim settlement within "Greater Jerusalem" municipality. Such a plan was first adopted by the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and then supported by Ehud Barak.

Preliminary works for the construction are underway and, in the run-up to the Israeli general election, Netanyahu has pledged to go ahead with it.

According to Mr. del Buey, the UN chief also said that the Palestinian protests in the area are peaceful and should be respected. Palestinians set up a protest camp where Israeli construction in the E1 area is taking place, but Israeli police and soldiers destroyed it on Sunday.

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