UN, UK condemn Israel’s legalization of ‘illegal’ outposts in the West Bank

04/27/2012 21:57

WireUpdate:  NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) -- United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Tuesday expressed concern after Israel's decision to formally approve three outposts in the West Bank, which they both described as 'illegal.'

Ban, in a statement through his spokesman, reiterated that all settlement activity is illegal under international law and that "it runs contrary to Israel's obligations under the Road Map and repeated Quartet calls for the parties to refrain from provocations."

The approved outposts by Israeli authorities are Bruchin and Rechelim in the northern part of the West Bank, and Sansana in the south.

Ban said he was 'disappointed' and 'deeply troubled' by the decision as it comes amid renewed efforts to restart dialogue between Israel and Palestinians. Talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians stalled in September 2010 after Israel refused to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory. Dialogue has not resumed since.

Hague also condemned Tuesday's decision. "The official sanction being given by Israel, designating outposts as settlements for the first time in over 20 years, sets a dangerous precedent for other outposts, which are illegal under both international and Israeli law," the foreign secretary said. "By seeking to entrench illegal settlements in the West Bank, as this decision does, the Israeli government risks sending the message that it is not serious about its stated commitment to the goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

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