UN Chief to Look for ‘Realistic Options’ for Israel-PA Peace

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday said that after a new Israeli government has been sworn in he will investigate whether there are “realistic options” for a return to peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA), Reuters reports.


“Once a new government has been sworn in, the Secretary-General will explore with Prime Minister Netanyahu realistic options for a return to meaningful negotiations on a two state solution,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, after Netanyahu was able to clinch a deal to form a coalition hours before a deadline.


Dujarric also said Ban was “deeply concerned by recent announcements by Israeli authorities of plans for 900 settlement units in East Jerusalem which are illegal under international law.”


He was referring to Israel’s approval earlier Thursday of construction of 900 homes in the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.


There have been calls on Israel to resume peace talks with the PA, but the international community has also expressed concern after Netanyahu vowed in interviews during the election campaign that he would never allow the establishment of a Palestinian state under his watch.


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