United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (L) shakes hands with Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah during their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah October 13, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad
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U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon Monday slammed Israeli settlement building and warned against "provocations" at Jerusalem's holy sites, calling for renewed peace talks to avoid further conflict with the Palestinians.Ban was in the West Bank city of Ramallah where he met Palestinian prime minister Rami Hamdallah, a day after a Cairo conference at which international donors pledged $5.4 billion to rebuild the war-ravaged Gaza Strip. The White House and European Union have slammed Israel's approval in September for 2,600 new settlement units in Israeli-annexed Arab east Jerusalem.The site is holy to both Jews and Muslims, and is an underlying cause of Israeli-Palestinian tension, which has heightened in Jerusalem since the Gaza conflict.Ban called for the two sides to revive a stagnant peace process that collapsed in April despite intense U.S. efforts.
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