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UN chief insists Israeli measures in Jerusalem have no legal validity

March 8, 2014 at 3:10 pm

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon insisted on Saturday that Israel’s legislative or administrative measures taken to change the character and status of Jerusalem have no “legal validity”. The UN chief’s comment was in a letter to Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, the Chairman of Al-Quds Committee. It was broadcast by the official Morocco News Agency at the closing ceremony of the committee’s meeting in Marrakesh.

“The position of the United Nations regarding Jerusalem is clear,” wrote Mr Ban. “Any action or legislative provision or administrative decision by the State of Israel which seeks to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem has no legal validity.” He added that such measures “are contrary to the rules of international law and undermine the efforts to reach a two-state solution.”

The Moroccan monarch had earlier sent two messages, to Ban and Pope Francis, in which he warned against any agreement with Israel that may condone its colonisation policy.

“I share your concerns,” replied Ban to the king, “because any action concerning Jerusalem is felt worldwide, and it is precisely for this reason that it should remain a universal symbol of peace and hope. Jerusalem is the melting pot of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian aspirations. It must be open and accessible to everyone.” He stressed that he will remind “the Holy See’s delegation of the UN’s position regarding Jerusalem as soon as I have a chance.”

The Secretary-General’s message was in response to Israel’s announcement on Friday regarding plans to build 1,076 new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem and over 800 in other parts of the occupied West Bank. The move was described by Palestinians as “a message from Israel to Washington expressing its abandonment of the peace efforts in the region.”

The announcement also coincided with US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit to the region a few days ago in his most recent attempt to push the Israelis and Palestinians towards a peace agreement.

Source: Al Resalah