The UN secretary-general has declared proposed Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem to be illegal since they would further occupy Palestinian territory. “Mr Ban is in the Middle East to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders and press them to resume peace talks. Israel’s controversial announcement of plans to build 1,600 more homes in East Jerusalem has inflamed tensions in the region and between Israel and the US. The Palestinian leadership has said the plan is an obstacle to resuming talks. Mr Ban’s statement comes a day after he made a similar call, speaking for the international Quartet of Middle East peace mediators – the UN, Russia, the EU and the US. Meanwhile violence in the West Bank continued, with a Palestinian teenager shot dead and another badly hurt in clashes with Israeli troops near the city of Nablus, Palestinian medical officials said. The Israeli military says its forces were responding to what it called a ‘violent riot’ by Palestinian youths who were throwing stones at Israeli settlers, the BBC’s West Bank correspondent Jon Donnison reports. But it says no live bullets were fired, only tear gas and rubber bullets.”
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