UN chief deplores razing of East Jerusalem building for new Israeli settlements

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today deplored the destruction of the Shepherd’s Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for new Israeli settlements in the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood.Israel’s refusal in late September to extend a 10-month freeze on settlement activity in the Palestinian territory occupied in the 1967 six-day war prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which had only resumed a few weeks earlier after a two-year hiatus.Mr. Ban said the demolition which took place yesterday “only serves to heighten tensions,” according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.“It is deeply regrettable that growing international concern at unilateral expansion of illegal Israeli settlements is not being heeded. Such actions seriously prejudice the possibility of a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”The Secretary-General again called on the Israeli Government to take “whatever steps are necessary” to freeze settlement activity anywhere in occupied territory, the statement added. 10 January 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today deplored the destruction of the Shepherd’s Hotel in occupied East Jerusalem to make way for new Israeli settlements in the heart of a Palestinian neighbourhood. read more