UN chief ´deeply troubled´ by new West Bank outposts (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Reuters and Natasha Mozgovaya 04/25/12)
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UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday that he was "deeply troubled" by
Israel´s decision to grant legal status to three settlement outposts
in the West Bank, describing the activity as illegal under
Referring to three outposts - Bruchin, Sansana and Rechalim, Ban´s
office said in a statement that the "Secretary-General is deeply
troubled by the decision of the Government of Israel to formally
approve three outposts in the West Bank."
"The Secretary-General reiterates that all settlement activity is
illegal under international law. It runs contrary to Israel´s
obligations under the Road Map and repeated Quartet calls for the
parties to refrain from provocations," it said.
The United States also said it was "concerned by the reports" of
Israel´s decision. "We don´t think this is helpful to the [peace]
process, and we don´t accept the legitimacy of continued settlement
activity," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.
Israeli officials played down the decision taken by a ministerial
committee late on Monday and rejected accusations that the government
had effectively created the first new Jewish settlements for more
than 20 years.
The United Nations views all Jewish settlements in the West Bank as
illegal. However, Israel distinguishes between settlements it has
approved and the outposts that were never granted official
Some 350 settlers live in Bruchin and 240 in Rechelim, both in the
northern part of the West Bank, while Sansana, with a population of
240, lies further to the south.
Earlier this month, the Quartet - the European Union, Russia, the
United Nations and the United States - criticized Israeli settlement
building and called on donors to meet aid pledges to the Palestinians
as they sought to revive stalled peace talks. (© Copyright 2012
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