MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Wednesday, Israel approved the construction of 285 new housing units in the occupied West Bank and retroactively legalized 179 homes that were built in the 1980s.
The Foreign Ministry said Moscow “was gravely concerned” by the reported approval of new Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
“In this regard we reiterate a well-known position of both Russia and the entire international community that such activities in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal. We believe that the implementation of the reported Israeli projects will negatively affect the efforts to resume peace negotiations on a two-state settlement,” the Ministry’s statement said.
The most recent round of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians was initiated by the United States in mid-2013 but ended in a deadlock almost a year later. In late August, a diplomatic source told Sputnik that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas may meet in Moscow in late September.