News in Brief 21 January 2016 (AM)

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Palestinian Bedouin community of Abu Nuwar. File Photo: OCHA

UN chief "deeply concerned" by Israel's plans to appropriate West Bank land

The UN Secretary-General has said he is "deeply concerned" over Israel's plans to seize land in the occupied West Bank.

This follows reports that the government has declared 370 acres south of Jericho as so-called "state land."

The land is located in an area where Israel has built farms for settlers.

If implemented, it would constitute the largest land appropriation by Israel in the West Bank since August 2014.

In a statement issued on Thursday by his spokesperson, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said settlement activities are a violation of international law.

They also run counter to Israeli government pronouncements on supporting a two-state solution with the Palestinians.

UN condemns deadly attack on Afghan journalists

A deadly suicide attack against journalists in Afghanistan has been condemned by the United Nations.

Eight people died and 24 others were injured in the incident, which took place in the capital, Kabul, on Wednesday.

Most of the victims were members of the local media.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which targeted a minibus transporting staff from the Tolo media organization.

The UN mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, said the Taliban had issued a specific threat against the private television station and other media groups in October.

UNAMA has called on all parties to the conflict in Afghanistan, including the Taliban, to revoke any threats against the media.

The UN mission said that because journalists are civilians, they should never be the object of attacks or threats.

Security Council welcomes Libya unity government

The UN Security Council has reaffirmed its "strong commitment" to the sovereignty and national unity of Libya.

This follows the announcement earlier this week of the formation of the Government of National Accord.

The unity government is one of the provisions of a peace deal signed in mid-December aimed at ending four years of conflict in the North African country.

In a statement, Council members expressed their support for the full implementation of the accord, known as the Libyan Political Agreement.

They also called on the new government to "urgently focus" on combating the growing threat, particularly by groups proclaiming allegiance to ISIL, also known as Daesh.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 2’18″

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