Islamabad, Jan 24 : Terming it as a setback to the peace process, Pakistan on Thursday slammed Israel's settlement activity in Palestinian territory.
Speaking at a debate on the Middle East situation in the UN Security Council, Pakistani delegate Saad Ahmad Warraich said the expanded illegal Israeli settlements are a blatant disregard for international law and will of global community which are worsening the situation. Underscoring the need for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said a viable and independent State of Palestine based on internationally agreed parameters is the only path to sustainable peace in the Middle East.
Radio Pakistan while quoting Saad Ahmad said that the suffering of civilians in Gaza represents a moral outrage and must end.
The ongoing struggle between Israel and Palestine has been referred to as the world's "most intractable conflict".
Earlier on Tuesday, Nickolay Mladenov, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, while briefing the Security Council said that the possibility of establishing a “viable, contiguous Palestinian state” has been “systematically eroded by facts on the ground,”
Mr. Mladenov began his downbeat assessment by detailing the extent and growth of Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank: the UN’s long-standing position on settlements, he reminded the Council, is that they are illegal under international law and “an obstacle to peace.”
Recent examples include plans for over 3,000 housing units in West Bank settlements, and government plans to legalize several illegal outposts. At the same time, said Mr. Mladenov, Palestinian-owned structures have been demolished and seized across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, with authorities citing a lack of Israeli-issued building permits, which are nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain, as justification.