UN chief repeats harsh criticism of Israel

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has repeated his harsh criticism of the Israeli regime over its failure to work toward resolving the conflict with the Palestinians.

“After nearly 50 years of occupation – after decades of waiting for the fulfillment of the Oslo promises – Palestinians are losing hope,” Ban told a UN committee on Palestinian rights on Wednesday.

He was referring to the Oslo Accords, a series of agreements signed by the Tel Aviv regime and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in the 1990s.

“Young people especially are losing hope. They are angered by the stifling policies of the occupation,” he said.

On Tuesday, the UN chief criticized Tel Aviv for expanding settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, describing it “an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community.”

“Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half-century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process,” he said.

He also expressed concern over plans by Tel Aviv to build over 150 new illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and to confiscate 380 acres (154 hectares) of agricultural land in the Jordan Valley near the West Bank city of Jericho.

The remarks prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accuse Ban of giving a “tailwind to terror.” Netanyahu also claimed that the UN had lost its neutrality “a long time ago.”

More than half a million Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

The UN and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories they are build on were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.

The presence and continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

The Palestinian Authority wants the West Bank as part of its future independent state, with East al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital.

By Press TV