İrem UZUN -TDO- European powers on Friday condemned Israel’s decision to approve thousands more settlements in occupied Palestinian territory. “The expansion of settlements violates international law and further imperils the viability of a two-state solution to bring about a just and lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said a joint statement from the foreign ministers of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.
The five foreign ministers added that it was a “counterproductive move in light of the positive developments of normalization agreements reached between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.” They called for an immediate halt in settlement construction and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 which demands that Israel return to the pre-1967 lines.
Israel this week approved more than 1,300 new settler homes in the West Bank, bringing to a total of over 4,000 the number of such homes that are in the pipeline. Palestinians claim all of the West Bank, captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war, as part of a future independent state. They say the growing settler population, approaching 500,000 in the West Bank, has made it increasingly difficult to achieve their dream of independence.