U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon slams Israel over settlement plans in wake of Quartet report

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attends a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attends a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah June 28, 2016. REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon sharply criticized a decision by Israel to advance plans to build hundreds of units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem just days after world powers called on Israel to stop its settlement policy, his spokesman said on Tuesday.

«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,» Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.

Ban was «deeply disappointed» that Israel’s announcement followed the release of a report on Friday by the «Quartet» sponsoring the stalled Middle East peace process – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

The long-awaited report said Israel should stop building settlements, denying Palestinian development and designating land for exclusive Israeli use that Palestinians seek for a future state.

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