UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, said yesterday that Israel's plan to build new settlement units in the E1 area, which lies between the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem, "fuels instability".
"I am very concerned about Israel's recent announcements regarding the advancement of settlement construction in Giv'at Hamatos and Har Homa, as well as the worrying plans for 3,500 units in the controversial E1 area of the occupied West Bank," Mladenov said in a statement.
"All settlements are illegal under international law and remain a substantial obstacle to peace," he said.
"If the E1 plan were to be implemented, it would sever the connection between northern and southern West Bank, significantly undermining the chances for establishing a viable and contiguous Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution."
Concluding his statement, Mladenov said: "I urge the Israeli authorities to refrain from such unilateral actions that fuel instability and further erode the prospects for resuming Palestinian-Israeli negotiations on the basis of relevant UN resolutions, international law and bilateral agreements."