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UN Secretary Expresses Concern Over Jerusalem Building

United Nations Secretary Ban Ki-moon told Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting that he is concerned over plans to build hundreds of housing units in eastern Jerusalem.

Ban and Israel’s prime minister met Monday night in New York, shortly after Netanyahu’s arrival following an address in New Orleans. The leaders also spoke about efforts to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians as well as the decision by a United Nations body to refer to Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs as mosques.

Netanyahu told Ban that Israel would withdraw from the contested Ghajar village, on Israel’s border with Lebanon. The Israeli Cabinet is expected to approve the plan in an upcoming meeting. He also took Ban to task for failing to implement Security Council resolution 1701, which would disarm Hezbollah.

Netanyahu called on Ban to reverse the recent statement by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization which refers to Rachel’s Tomb and the Cave of the Patriarchs first as mosques and also calls them an integral part of occupied Palestinian territory.

Ban said in a statement released after his meeting with Netanyahu that it is “vital to break the current diplomatic stalemate,” between Israel and the Palestinians “resume negotiations and produce results.”

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