RAMALLAH, January 27, 2016 (WAFA) – Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, welcomed on Tuesday remarks made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in which he blamed Israeli settlement activities for the current tension in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Erekat called on the international community to hold the Israeli government accountable for upholding its settlement enterprise in the occupied territories, which he said was the main block on the way to achieving a two-state solution.
This came as he praised statement made by Ban during a United Nations Security Council meeting on the Middle East, in which he described Israel’s continued settlement activities as an “affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community.”
“These provocative acts are bound to increase the growth of settler populations, further heighten tensions and undermine any prospects for a political road ahead,” he said in reference to Israeli settlement activities.
“Continued settlement activities are an affront to the Palestinian people and to the international community,” he said. “They rightly raise fundamental questions about Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution.”
In unusually strong language, Ban also questioned Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution, claiming Palestinian “violence” was the result of “frustration”.
“Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half-century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process.”
He continued, “Security measures alone will not stop the violence. They cannot address the profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians – especially young people.”
At least 167 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the beginning of unrest in the occupied Palestinian territories in early October 2015. Over 15,000 others have been injured.