TribLIVE

| USWorld


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

U.N. chief frustrated with ongoing Israel construction

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, 7:39 p.m.
 

RAMALLAH, West Bank — U.N. Secretary-General Ban-Ki moon said on Thursday that he is “deeply troubled” by Israeli settlement building and that it could prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state.

A day earlier, Israelis and Palestinians began formal talks on the terms of a Palestinian state, ending a five-year freeze. The talks were overshadowed by recent Israeli announcements on promoting plans for more than 3,000 new settlement apartments.

The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967. Israel has built dozens of settlements there that are home to more than half a million Israelis and are deemed illegal by most of the international community.

“I am deeply troubled by Israel's continuing settlement activity in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem,” Ban said, speaking at a news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “The settlement activity is deepening the Palestinian people's mistrust in the seriousness on the Israeli side toward achieving peace. It will ultimately render a two-state solution impossible.”

The five-year break in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations was largely because of a dispute over settlements. Abbas insisted on a settlement freeze as a condition for talks. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the demand, arguing that all issues should be raised in negotiations with the Palestinians.

Under U.S. pressure, Abbas eventually agreed to return to talks without a settlement freeze, though Abbas aides have said the Obama administration assured them it would try to restrain Israeli construction.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read World

  1. Canada balances security, openness
  2. Everything is America’s fault, Putin says
  3. Miss Uganda hopefuls get dirty in agriculture phase of contest
  4. Attack on Egypt army post in Sinai peninsula kills 30 troops
  5. Sweden calls off search for mystery submarine
  6. Gunman in Ottawa attack had been waiting for passport to go to Syria
  7. As oil prices fall, fear rises in Venezuela
  8. Iraq gives key posts to Sunni, Shiite men
  9. Tourism in Iran increases 35%
  10. Teen girls found no roadblock to flights
  11. U.S. airstrikes beat back Islamic State’s push for Mosul dam
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.