UN chief deplores announcement of further Israel settlement plans in West BankListen /
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has deplored the announcement of further Israeli settlement plans in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
On Wednesday the Israeli government reportedly announced plans to build 1, 500 new units at the Ramat Shlomo Jewish settlement in occupied East Jerusalem.
The announcement was made hours after it freed 26 Palestinian prisoners.
In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Secretary-General Ban says 'any measures that prejudge final status issues will not be recognised by the international community."
Mr. Ban, the statement continues "understands that Israel took a difficult step in continuing to release Palestinian prisoners in the face of deep domestic opposition, and appreciates this gesture."
It says "in keeping with the statement by the Quartet on 27 September, the Secretary-General expects the parties to take every possible step to promote conditions conducive to the success of the negotiating process and to refrain from actions that undermine trust."
The Middle East Quartet comprises the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia.
Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.