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Tuesday, September 28, 2010
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UN chief disappointed with Israel over settlements

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon yesterday expressed disappointment at Israel's refusal to extend a halt to new settlements in Palestinian territories, a spokesman said.

Ban also expressed concern at what he called "provocative actions" -- a veiled reference to Israel's resumption of settlement building after its moratorium ended on Sunday.

"The secretary general recalls the Quartet statement of last week which reflected the united call of the international community urging Israel to extend the settlement restraint policy," said a statement released by Ban's spokesman.

"He is disappointed that no such decision has yet been taken and concerned at provocative actions taking place on the ground," the spokesman said in a statement.

Settlement building resumed across the West Bank on yesterday, just hours after a 10-month freeze expired, but the Palestinian leadership has held back on a threat to quit peace talks with Israel over the move.

Ban "reiterates that settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law, and urges Israel to fulfill its roadmap obligation to freeze settlement activity," said the statement.

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