Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Ban Ki-moon Tuesday of “encouraging terror,” after the United Nations Secretary-General spoke of Palestinian frustrations with the Jewish country’s settlements in the West Bank. Earlier in the day, Ban had said that it was natural for Palestinians to resist the Israeli occupation.
"The comments of the U.N. Secretary General encourage terror," Netanyahu said in a statement, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). "There is no justification for terror."
Ban expressed concern over Israel’s plans for over 150 new homes in illegal settlements in the West Bank. He told the U.N. Security Council of the "profound sense of alienation and despair driving some Palestinians — especially young people" in the surge in attacks on Israelis since the start of October.
"Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process," Ban said. “Yet, as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism,” he added.
However, Ban condemned the Palestinian attacks on Israelis.
Since Oct. 1, 2015, violence in the region has claimed lives of 159 Palestinians and 25 Israelis, as well as an American and an Eritrean, AFP reported.
The U.N. chief also said that the continued settlement activities in the West Bank also raised “fundamental” questions about Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution. “At the same time, the humanitarian situation in Gaza remains perilous … I continue to strongly believe that conditions in Gaza pose a severe threat to long-term peace and security in the region,” Ban said.
Netanyahu responded saying that the Palestinians themselves were not putting any efforts for two states. "The Palestinian murderers do not want to build a state, they want to destroy a state and they say it out loud," Netanyahu said, according to AFP. "They want to murder Jews wherever they are and they say so out loud. They do not murder for peace and they do not murder for human rights."