UN reports substantial increase in Israeli settlements
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UN reports substantial increase in Israeli settlements

Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov tells Security Council that no steps taken to end West Bank building since December resolution

UN Special Coordinator Nikolay Mladenov, February 9, 2015. (CC BY-SA Ottokars, Wikipedia)
UN Special Coordinator Nikolay Mladenov, February 9, 2015. (CC BY-SA Ottokars, Wikipedia)

UNITED NATIONS — Israel has announced a substantial increase in settlements in the past three months despite a United Nations resolution demanding a halt to the Jewish building in the West Bank, the UN envoy for the Middle East said Tuesday.

Presenting his second report since the resolution was adopted in December, Nickolay Mladenov told the Security Council that “no such steps have been taken” to end settlements.

“Since March 24, there has been substantial increase in settlement-related announcements as compared with the previous reporting period,” he said.

Israel is moving forward with plans for nearly 4,000 housing units and has issued 2,000 tenders for settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, he added.

Construction workers begin work on the new settlement, Amichai, meant to resettle the evacuees of Amona, June 20, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Construction workers begin work on the new settlement, Amichai, meant to resettle the evacuees of Amona, June 20, 2017. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The United Nations considers all settlements to be illegal and has raised alarm that the construction on land earmarked for a future Palestinian state will kill off the two-state solution to end the Middle East conflict.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley has branded the UN Security Council resolution on settlements a “terrible mistake” after the previous US administration refrained from using its veto to block the measure.

The resolution was adopted last December with 14 votes in favor and one abstention — from the United States — at the 15-member council.

The envoy’s report to the council came on the same day as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the start of work on the Amichai settlement in the northern West Bank.

Mladenov quoted Netanyahu as saying that “there will never be a government that is more pro-settlement than our government.”

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