UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. (AP Photo/Grace Kassab) (AP Photo/Grace Kassab)
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon
Construction Jerusalem

Construction in Har Homa, Jerusalem. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

The plans were announced as a response to the recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, which claimed the lives of Hallel Ariel, a 13-year-old girl and, Michael Mark, the father of 10. As usual, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon denounced Israel’s decision though he made no such statement against Palestinian incitement or terror.

The United Nations (UN) on Monday denounced plans announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to build new housing in Israel’s capital Jerusalem, saying the prospect of the two-state solution to the Middle East conflict is already “slipping away.”

Israel’s government approved the construction of some 600 new housing units in Ma’ale Adumim, near Jerusalem, and another 200 units in Jerusalem neighborhoods located over the so-called Green Line: Gilo, Har Homa and Ramot.

The move was coupled with a decision to approve construction of some 600 new housing units exclusively for Arabs in Jerusalem’s Beit Safafa neighborhood.

The plans were announced as a response to the recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks, which claimed the lives of Hallel Ariel, a 13-year-old girl and, Michael Mark, the father of 10.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon denounced Israel’s decisions to move forward with new constructions in Jerusalem, urging Israel to “halt and reverse such decisions in the interest of peace and a just final status agreement”.

“The Secretary-General strongly criticizes” Israel’s plans, Ban’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“This raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions, which are compounded by continuing statements of some Israeli ministers calling for the annexation of the West Bank,” the spokesperson added.

Israel announced its new building plans just days after report by the Middle East Quartet –Russia, the US, the European Union (EU) and the UN – that criticized Israel’s construction in Judea and Samaria and equated it with Palestinian terrorism.

“The Secretary-General is deeply disappointed that this announcement comes only four days after the Middle East Quartet called on Israel to cease its policy of settlement construction and expansion,” the statement said.

Also on Monday, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) slammed Israel destruction of terrorists’ homes.

“Punitive home demolitions are a form of collective punishment which are illegal under international law,” claimed UNRWA Spokesperson Chris Gunness. “They inflict distress and suffering on those who have not committed the action which led to the demolition and they often endanger people and property in the vicinity.”

“UNRWA condemns punitive demolitions and reminds Israel, the occupying power, that under international humanitarian law it has an obligation to protect the occupied people and provide services,” the spokesperson added.

The demolition of terrorists’ homes are meant to serve as deterrence for potential terrorists who are plotting future attacks and are part of Netanyahu’s plans to contend with the wave of Palestinian terror attacks, which has claimed the lives of 39 Israeli victims in the past 10 months.

By: Max Gelber, United with Israel

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