An Israeli bulldozer destroys Palestinian homes and a community center in the southern West Bank village of Umm al-Kheir, on August 24, 2016. (Photos by AFP)
Israel continues to ignore international calls to halt its illegal settlement activities and demolishing Palestinian homes in the West Bank, says a UN envoy.
A recent report by the Quartet on the Middle East -- comprised of the UN, the US, Russia, and the European Union -- called on the Israeli regime to halt its illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, saying the settlement expansion, the demolition of Palestinian homes, and the expropriation of land were “steadily eroding the viability” of a solution to their conflict.      
"Its recommendations continue to be ignored, including by a surge in Israeli settlement-related announcements and continuing demolitions,” said Nickolay Mladenov, the UN coordinator for the so-called Middle East peace process, while addressing the UN Security Council on Monday.
Palestinian children climb on the rubble of their homes after Israeli bulldozers destroyed them in the southern West Bank village of Umm al-Kheir, on August 24, 2016.
He stressed that since two months ago when the report was released, Tel Aviv has actually increased its settlement activities, including the advancement of over 1,000 more units in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds and 735 units in the West Bank.
The UN envoy also noted that Israel has carried out a land survey on the outskirts of Bethlehem aimed at establishing new settlements.
A picture taken on July 29, 2016 shows a general view of Israeli construction cranes and excavators at the building site of new housing units in the Jewish settlement of Gilo in East Jerusalem al-Quds. 
"All of these plans would essentially create new illegal settlements and I call on Israel to cease and reverse these decisions," he stressed.
Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds.
All Israeli settlements are illegal under the international law. Tel Aviv has defied calls to stop the settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories.