UN condemns plans for East Jerusalem settler homes

Palestinians hang their national flag on the fence surrounding Israel's Gilo settlement during a protest to mark Palestinian Prisoner's Day on April 16 2010. (MaanImages/Luay Sababa)

April 5, 2011
JERUSALEM (AFP) – The UN’s Middle East envoy on Tuesday condemned plans by Jerusalem city council to build over 900 new Jewish-only homes in Gilo settlement.

“Israeli settlement activity anywhere in occupied territory, including in east Jerusalem, is illegal and contrary to the roadmap,” said Richard Miron, spokesman for United Nations peace envoy Robert Serry, in reference to the peace roadmap adopted by the Middle East diplomatic Quartet.

“We call on the Israeli government to halt further planning for new settlement units, which undermines efforts to bring about resumed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and prejudices final status discussions.”

His remarks were made a day after the council approved plans for 942 new homes in Gilo in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed in a move not recognized by the international community.

Israel considers both sectors of the Holy City its “eternal, indivisible” capital, and does not view construction in the east to be settlement activity.

The Palestinians, however, want East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and fiercely contest any actions to extend Israeli control over the sector.

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