Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank has continued over the last two months despite recommendations by world powers to the contrary in an effort to revive negotiations over a two-state solution in the Middle East, a top UN official said Monday.
Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said that steps outlined in a June report by the so-called Middle East Quartet - the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia - have not been heeded by either side.
"[The report's] recommendations continue, however, to be ignored, including by a surge in Israeli settlement-related announcements and continuing demolitions," Mladenov said.
Since July 1, Israel has advanced plans for more than 1,700 housing units in the West Bank and has published tenders for the construction of more than 300 new units in East Jerusalem, he said.
Mladenov noted that Palestinian authorities had been unable to take control of the Gaza Strip, which the Quartet report had identified as a key to returning to negotiations.
"Both sides should work to reverse the negative trajectory, to build trust and to restore hope that a negotiated two-state solution is not just a political slogan but a reality that can be achieved through negotiations within our lifetime," he said.