UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has highlighted the construction of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank and announces them as illegal.
“Progress towards peace requires a freeze of Israel’s settlement enterprise,” Ban said in an address to the UN Security Council’s periodic Middle East debate at the UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday.
He also highlighted that the 150 new illegal settlements in the West Bank were “provocative”.
“These provocative acts are bound to increase the growth of settler populations, further heighten tensions and undermine any prospects for a political road ahead,” he added.
It is estimated that over half a million Israelis live in the hundreds of illegal settlements. These are mostly in the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem.
Although the UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands as illegal, there is little coordinated effort to place sanctions or other methods on Israel to halt these demographic changes.