Monday, October 18, 2010

UN slams Israel's refusal to extend settlement freeze as violating Int'l law

UN slams Israel's refusal to extend W.Bank settlement freeze; UN representative says "we have brief, crucial window to overcome current impasse. If door to peace closes, will be very hard to reopen."

Oscar Fernandez Taranco, assistant UN secretary general for political affairs on Monday criticized Israel by highlighting international opposition to Israel's refusal to extend the West Bank settlement moratorium.

Israel's decision to allow construction of 238 new housing units violated international law, said Taranco.

Taranco told the UN Security Council that "We have a brief and crucial window to overcome the current impasse."

"The UN secretary general continues to believe that, if the door to peace closes, it will be very hard to reopen," Tranaco continued.

"Intensive diplomatic efforts led by the United States and supported by all members of the Quartet are ongoing to create conditions conducive to the continuation of negotiations".

Tranco also highlighted that "The Quartet envoys have been in regular contact and principals are discussing a proposal to meet soon to review developments."

"There is no alternative to a negotiated settlement resulting in the creation of an independent and viable State of Palestine living side-by-side with the State of Israel in peace and security," he added.