UN sees surge in Israeli settlements
ISRAELI settlement expansion has surged in the two months since the diplomatic Quartet called for a halt to the construction of Jewish outposts on Palestinian land, a UN envoy said.
In a recent report, the Quartet – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations – urged Israel to stop building settlements and called on the Palestinians to cease incitement to violence.
But Nickolay Mladenov, the UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process, acknowledged that this appeal had fallen on deaf ears.
“Its recommendations continue to be ignored, including by a surge in Israeli settlement-related announcements and demolitions,” Mr Mladenov told the Security Council.
The Quartet report was to serve as the basis for reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process that has been comatose since a US initiative collapsed in April 2014.
There has been growing alarm that the construction of Jewish settlements on land earmarked to be part of a future Palestinian state is killing off prospects for a peace deal based on the two-state solution.
Since July 1, Israeli has advanced plans for over 1000 housing units in occupied east Jerusalem and 735 units in the West Bank.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government is also seeking tenders for 323 units to expand east Jerusalem settlements and for 42 units in Kiryat Arba near Hebron, for which it is allocating US$13 million in new funding. –