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UN secretary general, Ban Ki Moon

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Israel to ditch plans to expand settlements in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians want as their future capital.

It follows last month’s announcement that Israel would build 2,600 housing units in Givat Hamatos, on the south-east of Jerusalem, close to the city of Bethlehem.

Ban Ki Moon said the plans were a “clear violation” of international law that “does not send the right signals”.

He added: “I urge the government of Israel to reverse these activities and for both sides need to take steps to build trust.”

Ban visits Gaza this week to see first-hand what is required to rebuild the densely populated territory, where around 20,000 homes were destroyed this summer.