Trump aide Greenblatt returning to Israel for peace talks

Israeli soldiers fire tear gas canisters at Palestinians during clashes following a protest against closure of a road south of the West Bank city of Hebr

The UN has said that Israel's settlement activities are continuing at "at a high rate", despite demands by the Security Council for the Tel Aviv regime to end its expansions.

Reporting to the council, envoy Nickolay Mladenov accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government of using provocative rhetoric to shore up the drive for new settlements.

He said activity was concentrated primarily in east Jerusalem where plans were advanced for over 2,300 housing units in July, "30 percent more than for the whole of 2016".

Nine months ago, the Security Council adopted a controversial resolution demanding an end to settlements. The resolution marked a striking rupture with past practice by President Barack Obama, who had the USA abstain rather than veto the measure as then president-elect Donald Trump demanded.

The vote angered the incoming administration of then president-elect Donald Trump, who had called for a United States veto and whose aides had lobbied council members to vote against the resolution.

Mladenov stressed that the United Nations considers settlement activities illegal under worldwide law.

The PLO said that worldwide law and United Nations resolutions relevant to the Palestinian cause remain "the only base for a comprehensive and balanced political settlement that will provide security and stability to all people in the region, including the state of Palestine on the June 1967 borders with Jerusalem in its heart as the eternal capital of the people and state of Palestine, that will also protect the rights of the Palestinian refugees for return to their homes they were forced out from by military aggression as stated in United Nations resolution 194".

Aside from new construction, Mladenov said the demolition of Palestinian homes and schools continued, but at a significantly lower rate.

"Overall, since the beginning of 2017, 344 structures have been demolished, a third of them in east Jerusalem, displacing over 500 people", Mladenov said.

The PLO said Israel's settlement expansion, which it described as an aggression, is going to create "a system of discrimination and racial segregation".



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