Ban Ki-moon urges Israel to rescind plan to cut off East Jerusalem from West Bank

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Any plan to build a Jewish settlement that would cut off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank would destroy chances of securing a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

That warning comes from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, following the announcement by the Israeli government that it plans to build 3,000 new settlement units in East Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank.

In a statement through the Spokespersons' office on Sunday, Mr. Ban says he is gravely concerned and disappointed by the announcement.

He reiterated that settlements are illegal under international law.

The Secretary-General warned against the construction in what is called 'E-1 envelope' which he said risks completely cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

Secretary-General Ban said this construction would, in his own words, "represent an almost fatal blow to remaining chances of securing a two-state solution."

He repeated his call on the Israelis and Palestinians to resume negotiations and intensify efforts towards a comprehensive, just and lasting peace and urged the parties to refrain from provocative actions.

Mr. Ban stressed that in the interests of peace, any plans for E-1 must be rescinded.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’09″

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