Israeli approval of building new homes in West Bank "deplorable"

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Abu Iyad Abd Rabbo sitting in front of his tent which was erected on the ruins of his house

Israel's approval of new home building in a settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory has been criticized as "deplorable" by a top United Nations diplomat.

Robert Serry, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process reacted to Israel's announcement on Wednesday that it had approved the construction of 500 new houses in the West Bank.

Deputy United Nations spokesman, Eduardo Del Buey has more.

"Robert Serry said that the announcement by Israel to approve a large number of new units deep inside the occupied Palestinian territory in the settlement of Shilo and retroactively legitimize hundreds in a nearby outpost is deplorable and moves us further away from the goal of a two-State solution. Mr. Serry noted that the Secretary-General reiterated the United Nations’ well known position that settlement activity is illegal, contrary to Israel's obligations under the Road Map and will not be recognized by the international community, during his recent visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory."

Duration: 31"

There have been numerous calls to Israel to stop settlement activity, which is seen as damaging the efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiations.

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