UN chief urges Israel to rescind West Bank settlement plans

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon is reiterating his call for Israel to rescind its settlement plans in the strategic E1 area of the West Bank.

U.N. deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey says the U.N. chief is following "with concern" Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pledge Sunday to move ahead with construction of a new Jewish settlement in the E1 area.

The new settlement would deepen East Jerusalem's separation from the West Bank, areas won by Israel in war that the Palestinians want for their state.

Ban noted that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law, del Buey said Monday.

Ban said Palestinian demonstrations, which Israel broke up on Sunday, were largely nonviolent, and he stressed the right to peaceful protest should be fully respected, del Buey said.