UN chief attacks new West Bank settlement plan

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The Independent Online

Israeli plans to build 3,000 homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank risk "an almost fatal blow" to peace, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned last night.

With new housing units due to the fill an area of land between East Jerusalem and the settlement of Maale Adumim known as the E-1 envelope, a statement from Mr Ban's office said the proposal "risks completely cutting off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank". It was issued after Israel rejected the UN's endorsement of Palestin's non-member observer status, declaring it would withhold more than $100m (£62m) for the Palestinian government to pay debts to Israeli companies.