UN chief alarmed by Israel’s approval of new settlement

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UNITED NATIONS, March 31 (APP): UN Secretary General Antonio
Guterres said Saturday he is “disappointed and alarmed” by
Israel’s approval of the construction of its first completely
new settlement in the occupied Palestinian territory of
West Bank in 25 years.
“The secretary general has consistently stressed that there is no
Plan B for Israelis and Palestinians to live together in
peace and security,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in
a statement.
“He [Guterres] condemns all unilateral actions that, like
the present one, threaten peace and undermine the two-state
solution,” he added. Israel’s so-called security cabinet
on Thursday unanimously voted in favour of the new settlement
in two decades.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office
released a statement Thursday night, announcing that the new
settlement will be built near the West Bank settlement of Emek Shilo
and the Palestinian city of Ramallah.
The move was swiftly condemned by Palestinian officials,
with Hanan Ashrawi, an executive committee member of
the Palestine Liberation Organization, saying the “announcement
once again proves that Israel is more committed to appeasing
its illegal settler population than to abiding by the
requirements for stability and a just peace.”
The Israeli ministers also approved the construction of
2,000 settler homes out of the 5,700 units announced two months
ago, and endorsed the expropriation of 90 hectares (222
acres) of Palestinian land near the Israeli settlement of Eli
north of Ramallah.