Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced deep concern at the news that the municipality of Jerusalem has advanced planning for the demolition of existing homes and the construction of further settlements in the Silwan area in the east of the city.
The planned moves are contrary to international law, and to the wishes of Palestinian residents, " Mr. Ban said yesterday in a statement issued by his spokesperson.
The Secretary-General reminds the Israeli Government of its responsibility to ensure provocative steps are not taken which would heighten tensions in the city. The current moves are unhelpful, coming at a time when the goal must be to build trust to support political negotiations. "
Media reports say the municipality has approved a plan to demolish 22 Palestinian homes in Silwan as part of a redevelopment of the area.
In recent months senior UN officials have called on Israel to freeze all settlement activity and honour its commitments under the Road Map, the internationally approved plan for a two-State solution to the Middle East conflict.