U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday expressed concerned over the growing tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, warning that the "increasingly dangerous" tensions could threaten the peace talks that were launched in August.
"I am alarmed by the increasingly dangerous situation on the ground. There has been an escalation of violence and incitement," Ban was quoted by Agence France-Presse as saying in a message marking the U.N.'s International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
"Announcements of thousands of new housing units cannot be reconciled with the goal of a two-state solution and risk the collapse of negotiations," he said, urging Israel to end all new settlement construction in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem.
Ban also condemned rocket attacks by Gaza terrorists against Israel and the building of terror tunnels.
The U.N. chief further said that the Palestinians must overcome the internal "divisions" between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction and the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers.
"All parties must act in a responsible way and refrain from actions that undermine the prospects for successful negotiations," he said. "We cannot afford to lose the current momentum of opportunity."
According the Israel Radio, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat met with dozens of foreign diplomats in Jerusalem over the weekend and urged them to toughen their position vis-à-vis Israel regarding settlement construction.
According to the report, Erekat said that it is possible for Israel and the PA to reach an agreement, but the talks must be "protected" from what he called a government that "works for the settlers."