U.N. chief frustrated with ongoing Israel construction
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
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Iraq opens museum of antiquities in defiance of Islamic State terrorists
- Shelling claims Ukrainian journalist
- Budget reflects stakes for India
- Series of Islamic State terrorist attacks kills 37 in, north of Baghdad
- Hamas labeled terrorists by Egypt
- Scientists concerned seas will rise, reshaping coastlines
- Putin foe Nemtsov’s killing nets odd theory
- Storied Poland leftist party struggling
- Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu expected to confront Obama on Iran
- China slowdown spurs interest rate cuts
- At least 24 killed in double blast in Nigeria