18:56 GMT25 September 2020
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    The pace of Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank is rapidly increasing in comparison with 2016, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov told Security Council on Thursday.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — The special coordinator reminded that settlement activities are illegal under international law and present a great obstacle to the peace process.

    "Within a three-week period, the Israeli authorities promoted some 4,000 housing units in area C, including tenders for around 800 units, advancement of around 3000 units and approval of plans for additional 230 ones," Mladenov said.

    In 2016, forty-two units were tendered and around 3,000 were advanced in area C, Mladenov compared.

    During those three weeks, Israel also advanced settlements in East Jerusalem, where it issued building permits for over 900 units, he added that.

    On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump at joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel should delay building new settlements in order to reach a deal with Palestine.

    Relations between Israel and Palestine have been shattered for decades. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.


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