Reuters -
06.24.10, 08:15

Ban criticizes east Jerusalem housing plan

UN chief says municipality's plan to raze 20 Palestinian homes in Silwan 'contrary to international law, will heighten tensions in capital'

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized Israeli municipal authorities on Wednesday for pressing ahead with a plan to raze Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem, calling it unhelpful and illegal.

"The Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the decision by the Jerusalem municipality to advance planning for house demolitions and further settlement activity in the area of Silwan," Ban's press office said in a statement.

"The secretary-general reminds the Israeli government of its responsibility to ensure provocative steps are not taken which would heighten tensions in the city," Ban's statement said.

"The current moves are unhelpful, coming at a time when the goal must be to build trust to support political negotiations."