EU: Israel settlement approval illegal

Laborers work at the construction site of a housing project at an illegal Israeli settlement in East al-Quds (Jerusalem), December 2012.

The European Union has warned that the Israeli regime’s decision to approve the construction of some 1,200 settlement units in the occupied Palestinian territories was “illegal.”

The warning was made on Monday by Michael Mann, the spokesman for EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton.

“Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible,” Mann said.

Mann also said that the bloc called on “all parties to refrain from actions which could undermine the negotiation process and the prospects of peace.”

It came after Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel gave final approval on Sunday for the building of 793 settlement units in the occupied east al-Quds (Jerusalem) and 394 others in the West Bank.

The approval comes at a time when a new round of the talks between Israelis and the Palestinian Authority is to resume in al-Quds on Wednesday.

The representatives of Israel and the Palestinian Authority met last month in Washington. The meeting was the first direct negotiations in three years.

The Tel Aviv regime’s new settlement plan infuriated the Palestinians with their top negotiator, Saeb Erekat, saying the PA is now mulling boycotting the talks with Israel.

“The settlement plans contradict the principle of confidence and goodwill that the resumption of negotiations should have provided,” Erekat said.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.

By Press TV


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