News ID: 236553
Published: 0255 GMT December 28, 2018

EU, Turkey condemn Israeli settlement plans in West Bank

EU, Turkey condemn Israeli settlement plans in West Bank
Al Jazeera

The European Union, United Kingdom, France and Turkey condemned Israel's latest approval to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

On December 25 and 26, Israel's Higher Planning Committee approved the construction of 2,191 units in Israeli settlements.

The EU stressed that Israel's decision undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the possibility of lasting peace in a written statement, Al Jazeera reported.

"The European Union's position on Israeli settlement construction and related activities is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law," the statement reads.

France on Thursday condemned the move and called on Israel to reconsider the decision which "heightens tensions."

"The settlements endanger the two-state solution, which is the only solution that would allow for peace between Israelis and Palestinians," the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The UK said the recent decision is "unacceptable and disappointing" and urged Israel to cease such actions.

"Such actions are illegal under international law and call into question Israel’s commitment to any future peace agreement with the Palestinians," Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said.

 

196 illegal settlements

 

Turkey's Foreign Ministry on Friday issued a statement rejecting Israel's "illegal decision", saying that it "carelessly continues to violate international law, especially the relevant United Nations resolutions and the Fourth Geneva Convention."

Israel's Planning Committee approved the nearly 2,200 new units a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced early elections for April 2019.

Plans for 82 new units in the Ofra settlement near Ramallah— where a shooting attack occurred earlier this month—have also reportedly received the green light.

According to Palestinian figures, roughly 640,000 Israeli settlers now live on 196 settlements (built with the Israeli government's approval) and more than 200 settler outposts (built without its approval) across the occupied West Bank.

The vast majority of the international community considers the West Bank and East Al-Quds as "occupied territories" and consider Israeli settlement-building activity there to be illegal.

According to Michael Lynk, the UN special rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories, Israel has refused to comply with more than 40 UN Security Council resolutions and about 100 General Assembly resolutions.

 

   
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