The Secretary-General of the United Nations has blamed Israel for the "current impasse" in the Middle East peace process. Ban Ki-moon expressed his regret in a statement "for the failure of the Government of Israel to comply with the call of the international community to extend the period of a partial freeze on the settlement activities in the West Bank". He renewed his call for the Zionist state to fulfil its obligations under the so-called "road map" and freeze all settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem.
Expressing his hope that progress can still be made towards a two-state solution, Mr. Ban stressed the importance of strengthening the negotiation process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. According to Hebrew radio sources, the Secretary-General was due to meet Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak in New York on 9th December to discuss the latest developments.