UN envoy calls on Israel to cease settlement activities
The Untied Nations Middle East peace coordinator on Thursday once again called on Israel to cease settlement activities on the occupied Palestinian territories, Xinhua reported.
"I once again called on Israel to cease demolitions (of Palestinian-owned structures) and other measures that run contrary to its obligations under international law," UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov told the Security Council.
A total of 39 structures were demolished or seized in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, displacing 33 people and affecting the livelihoods of over 100 others in the past month, Mladenov said, citing figures from the UN relief wing, or OCHA.
While the rate of demolitions has declined since the beginning of 2017, over 13,000 demolition orders are pending against Palestinian structures in Area C, he said, referring to an administrative area that constitutes about 60 percent of the West Bank territory.
Meanwhile, the Israeli government has reportedly approved the allocation of 6 million dollars for advancing the construction of 31 housing units in the Jewish settlement in Hebron, the first new construction there in 16 years, Mladenov added.
"I reiterated the long-standing United Nations position that all settlement activities are illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace," he said.