The UN has demanded an immediate halt to Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Further expansion has been announced in response to the UN’s recent decision to grant Palestinians the status of observer state.
All Security Council members except the US demanded the building stop, along with the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who said:“This is clearly a violation of international law and it is a violation of Quartet guidelines and it is an obstruction of the Middle East peace process. I’m urging the Israeli government to refrain from taking any measures of establishing settlements”
Undeterred, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his government will push ahead with settlement expansion:“We are going to build in Jerusalem for all its residents, this is something that has been done by all previous governments and this is something that my government will continue to do.”, he told reporters.
Israel has this week approved plans for 15 hundred new homes at Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem. Approval for a further 2000 homes has also been granted.
Half a million Jews live in 100 similar settlements built in East Jerusalem and the West Bank since the 1967 Six Day war. The acquisition is not recognised under international law.