"Time is running out" UN chief tells Israel, Palestine leaders

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On 28 June 2016, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) visits a school in Gaza run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Time is running out and the prospects for a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians grow more distant, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned.

He made the remarks to the Security Council Tuesday during an open debate on the situation in the Middle East.

The Israeli-Palestinian peace talks came to an abrupt end in April 2014 and have not yet resumed.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The negotiations led by the so-called Middle East Quartet which consists of the UN, the United States, the European Union and Russia, were expected to secure an agreement on the "two-state solution"

It calls for the creation of an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the 1967 borders next to Israel.

A recent report by the Quartet gave a practical approach to end the stalemate but also called on Israel to cease settlement construction and expansion.

Israel had recently announced plans to continue building 560 housing units in the West Bank and 240 more in occupied East Jerusalem.

These actions are in direct contradiction with Israel's official support for a negotiated two-State solution, said Ban Ki-moon.

"We must ask: How can the systematic expansion of settlements … the taking of land for exclusive Israeli use … and the denial of Palestinian development be a response to violence? Such policies will not bring the two-state solution closer to reality."

 The UN chief also warned Palestinians who celebrate and encourage attacks against innocents that they were not "serving the interests of their people or peace."

 Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’15”

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