UN chief urges Israel to end 'provocative actions' in East Jerusalem
Wed, Nov 04, 2009
UNITED NATIONS - UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday urged Israel to end its "provocative actions" in east Jerusalem and to abide by its commitments to freeze all settlement activity in the occupied West Bank.
"The Secretary General is dismayed at continued Israeli actions in occupied east Jerusalem, including the demolition of Palestinian homes, the eviction of Palestinian families and the insertion of settlers into Palestinian neighbourhoods," a UN statement said.
"The eviction today of a Palestinian family in East Jerusalem is just the most recent incident," it added.
Warning that such actions "stoke tensions, cause suffering and further undermine trust," Ban urged Israel "to cease such provocative actions."
He also reiterated his call on Israel "to implement its commitments" under the blueprint for Middle East peace put forward by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations "by freezing all settlement activity, including natural growth; dismantling outposts; and reopening Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem."
Earlier Tuesday, dozens of Israeli settlers took over a house in mostly Arab east Jerusalem, armed with a court order secured after a protracted legal battle with a Palestinian family, witnesses and police said.
Members of the Al-Kurd family demonstrated in front of the house along with other Arab residents and pro-Palestinian activists as the settlers hurled the family's belongings out into the street, a neighbour told AFP.
Jerusalem police spokesman Shmulik Ben Rubi said police who were sent in to break up the demonstration arrested one activist.
Israel's support for Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and its demolition of Palestinian homes built there without permits have drawn international criticism in recent months.
British Foreign Secretary David Miliband called settlements in east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank an "obstacle to peace" during a visit to Jordan on Tuesday and expressed "concern" over the events at the Al-Kurd house.