UN chief ‘alarmed’ by Israel’s big grab of Palestinian land

UNITED NATIONS:  UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is “alarmed” by Sunday’s announcement by Israeli authorities appropriating a swath of 990 acres in the West Bank and declaring the Palestinian area south of Bethlehem to be Israeli “state lands.”

“The seizure of such a large swathe of land risks paving the way for further settlement activity, which ” as the United Nations has reiterated on many occasions” is illegal under international law and runs totally counter to the pursuit of a two-state solution,” the secretary-general said in a statement.

Some 990 acres in the Etzion Jewish settlement bloc near Bethlehem were declared “state land, on the instructions of the political echelon” by the military-run Civil Administration ” defying Palestinian demands for a halt in settlement expansion.

“The Secretary-General calls on Israel to heed the calls of the international community to refrain from settlement activity and abide by its commitments under international law and the Quartet Road Map,” the statement said.

Source: APP