“The UN Secretary General’s remarks give a tailwind to terrorism. There is no justification for terrorism,” Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office, adding that “the Palestinian murderers do not want to build a state.
They want to destroy a state and they say this openly…They do not murder for peace and they do not murder for human rights.”
Netanyahu then attacked the UN in general, charging that the international body “lost its neutrality and moral force a long time ago, and the secretary general’s remarks do not improve the situation.”
On Tuesday evening, Ban slammed Israel’s “provocative” expansion of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank, saying it raises questions about its commitment to a two-state solution. Ban told the UN Security Council in a session on the recent situation in the Middle East that “Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process.”
The Palestinians want to establish an independent state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, lands that Israel seized in the 1967 Mideast War. The last round of peace talks collapsed in April 2014, and a deadly wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence broke out about four months ago.
“As oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism,” Ban noted, adding that any progress towards peace requires a freeze of the Israeli settlement enterprise.
He also condemned the recent Palestinian stabbing, car-ramming, and shooting attacks.
The remarks came a day after Israel reportedly approved plans for 153 new housing units in West Bank settlements. On Thursday, Israel said it would expropriate 380 acres of fertile agricultural lands south of Jericho, declaring them “state lands.”
About 370,000 Israelis live in at least 120 West Bank settlements, with additional 200,000 in East Jerusalem.
The settlements are illegal under international law. The international community has been condemning the Israeli control over the Palestinian territories, including Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem shortly after it was occupied in the 1967 war.
The latest surge of violence has claimed the lives of at least 150 Palestinians, 25 Israelis, and a U.S. citizen. Enditem