Ban: New homes in East Jerusalem "illegal"
The construction of 20 new housing units announced in East Jerusalem on Wednesday is "illegal," United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, dpa reported.
Ban said in reaction to the announcement in Jerusalem of the 20 new units that they are in the "heart of Arab neighbourhood." Israel had already approved construction of 1,600 units in East Jerusalem, a decision that was widely criticized.
"The settlements are illegal," Ban told reporters after a closed- door session with the UN Security Council. "This must stop."
In Jerusalem, Israeli officials said the 20 units in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem was approved in July 2009 and the owners received authorization for the construction after paying fees only last week.