UN director-general Ban Ki-Moon slams as “unacceptable and outrageous” a video posted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, in which he insisted that Palestinians were seeking the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews in the West Bank.
“I am disturbed by a recent statement by Israel’s Prime Minister portraying those who oppose settlement expansion as supporters of ethnic cleansing. This is unacceptable and outrageous,” Ban told the UN Security Council. “Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end.”
The UN chief also condemns the Palestinian ongoing “glorification of terror” and rocket fire against Israel.
“I continue to be appalled that Palestinian parties choose to praise despicable acts, such as the 1972 terrorist attack against Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. The glorification of terror is disgraceful and the Palestinian leadership must put an end to it,” he says.
On Gaza and the tit-for-tat fire between Israel and Syria on the northern front, the UN chief urges restraint.
“Just yesterday, militants in Gaza fired yet another rocket into Israel, which I condemn. Israel fired four missiles at targets in Gaza in response. Once again I reiterate that such attacks and the response they elicit do not serve the cause of peace,” he says.
“Turning to the Golan, I remain concerned by the continued breaches of the ceasefire line, and by fighting in the areas of separation and limitation. These developments undermine the 1974 Disengagement of Forces Agreement, and jeopardize the ceasefire between Israel and Syria.
“In particular, recent fire from the Syrian Arab Armed Forces, impacted the Israeli-occupied Golan. On both occasions, Israeli Defense Forces responded with an airstrike. I call on Israel and Syria to abide by the terms of the Disengagement Agreement and exercise maximum restraint.”