Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban ki-Moon, stated that the situation in the Middle East is worsening due to the lack of progress in the Peace Process, and urged both Israel and the Palestinians to resume the peace talks.He said that failing to resume the talks could destroy any chances of progress in the peace process, and that it would also diminish confidence between the two parties.
His statements came during a Thursday meeting with the United Nations committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People in New York, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
The secretary-general further stated that tension is rising in East Jerusalem due to home demolishing and settlement activities.
He said that the failure to achieve a progress in the peace process leads to greater risks of sliding backwards.
He also said that the International Community opposes the Israeli construction of settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, and added that settlements and unilateral Israel acts in the city endanger the prospects of a two-state solution.
Ban stated that settlements settlement construction and expansion undermine “trust” between Israel and the Palestinians, and that they affect the future final status peace talks and the possibilities of reaching a two-state peace deal.
He further stated that the Israeli actions in Jerusalem; demolishing of Arab houses, revocation of identity cards of Palestinians in Jerusalem, and the construction of settlements has increased the tension in the city and could even endanger stability in the whole region.
The UN Secretary-general said that East Jerusalem is recognized by the International Community as part of the occupied Palestinian territory, and that a solution to Jerusalem, as the capital of the two states, should be reached through negotiations.
As expected, Israel slammed the statements of the UN Chief and said that they are “one-sided, while several officials called for “reevaluating the approach of the United Nations”.
Israeli deputy Foreign Minister, Danny Ayalon, said that Israeli cannot be blamed for the lack of progress in the peace talks, and claimed that this issue is the fault of the Palestinians and the Arab States.
Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, recently said that the Palestinian Authority cannot resume the peace talks with Israel while it is ongoing wit it illegal settlement activities and the ongoing invasions and assassinations.
The Palestinian stance is based on international legitimacy resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention, especially since settlements are illegal and constitute a war crime as an occupying power cannot move all or part of its population into areas it occupies.