Israel's settlement activities undermine peace efforts: India

United Nations
United Nations, Jan 25: India on Wednesday said Israel's settlement activities in the Palestinian territories undermine efforts by the international community to resolve the conflict between the two sides and asked Tel Aviv to halt its construction to reach a peace deal.

Participating in an open debate at the UN Security Council on situation in the Middle East, India's Permanent Representative to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri said the increasing trend of settlement activities in the Palestinian lands is not compatible with the two-state solution.

The Quartet, comprising envoys of US, EU, UN and Russia, is leading efforts to bring the two sides to the negotiating table and has set a deadline of 2012 end to reach an agreement on the final status issues.

"For the Quartet's timeframe for reaching an agreement by the end of the year to be realised, it is necessary for Israel to completely stop settlement activities" in the occupied territories, he said.

Puri noted that the settlement activities are not only illegal under international law but also "undermine efforts of the international community" to resolve the conflict on the basis of the two-state solution.

Puri expressed concern that settlement activities have exacerbated the humanitarian problems of the Palestinian people in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. People in the area have been deprived of access to natural resources and prevented from undertaking economic, social and cultural activities.

"Settlement activities have also led to violence and aggravated social tension between settlers and the Palestinian population. We, therefore, reiterate our call for Israel to stop all settlement activities," Puri said.


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