EU Reiterates Call on Israel to Reconsider Settlement Expansion Policy
09:52 GMT 29.10.2021 (Updated: 17:14 GMT 12.04.2023)
© AP Photo / Oded BaliltyThis June 30, 2020, file photo, shows a view of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ma'ale Efrayim in the Jordan Valley. One of the world's best-known human rights groups says Israel is guilty of the international crimes of apartheid and persecution. Human Rights Watch cites discriminatory policies toward Palestinians within Israel's own borders and in the occupied territories. In so doing, the New York-based group joins a growing number of commentators and rights groups that consider Israel and the territories as a single entity in which Palestinians are denied basic rights that are granted to Jews. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)
© AP Photo / Oded Balilty
MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The European Union on Friday renewed its call on the Israeli government to stop the construction of settlements in the occupied West Bank, stressing that it undermines the efforts to reach a two-state solution in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
"We renew our call upon the Government of Israel to reverse these steps which are completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm, to halt settlement construction, and to focus on furthering meaningful re-engagement between the parties, advancing confidence-building measures and improving living conditions for ordinary people, which are urgently needed,” Peter Stano, EU External Action Service Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said.
On Wednesday, Israel approved plans to build another 2,860 housing units in 30 settlements on the occupied Palestinian lands. The move was condemned by the United States and a group of European nations, including Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Spain.
The planning council of the Civil Administration, an Israeli governing body in the West Bank, will consider giving construction clearance for 1,300 housing units on Monday.
The issue of Israel’s settlements in the West Bank, considered to be an occupied territory by the United Nations, is one of the main stumbling blocks in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
The two-state solution to the conflict is an UN-backed principle, under which two independent sovereign states will coexist peacefully. Its implementation remains stalled, however, as the two parties have not yet agreed on where the border between them would run and who would own Jerusalem.