ISRAEL’S DECISION TO BUILD NEW SETTLEMENT PROMPT INTERNATIONAL CONDEMNATION

New York, – The Israeli government decision to establish a new settlement in the occupied West Bank has prompted a wide international condemnation.

Germany, France and Britain issued coordinated condemnations of the Israeli decision to build a new settlement for the evacuees of the Amona illegal outpost, as well as decisions to market land for 2,000 new housing units in the West Bank and to declare 900 dunams near the settlement of Eli as state lands.

The three European countries did not mention the new policy to restrain construction in the settlements, also adopted by the Israeli Cabinet.

The German Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the decision to establish a new settlement for the first time in over 20 years undermines Germany’s faith in Israel’s wish to reach a two-state solution through negotiations. “The federal government expects the Israeli government to clarify which solution they are pursuing for a lasting peace with the Palestinians,” the spokesperson said. “Germany will not recognize any change in the 1967 lines, which has not been agreed between the parties”.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the Israeli decisions. “These announcements are contrary to international law and seriously undermine the prospects of two states for two peoples,” Johnson said.

The French Foreign Ministry also issued a condemnation. “This development is extremely worrying,” the statement said. “France strongly condemns these decisions which threaten peace and may exacerbate tensions on the ground.

“France recalls that colonization is illegal under international law, in particular UNSCR 2334. It calls on Israel to respect its international obligations,” the statement said.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini also issued a statement criticizing Israel’s decision, saying that it threatened the two-state solution. “The European Union reiterates that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible”.

The statement said that the EU “takes note” of reports that Israel intends to significantly restrict settlement construction, adding that the EU expects that “declarations of intent to be followed by actions on the ground”.

Similar condemnations were also issued Friday by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

The United States didn’t condemn the decision, and a senior White House official said Thursday that Netanyahu had committed to the creation of a new settlement and the tenders for 2,000 housing units before President Trump directly expressed his concerns regarding the issue and made his expectations from Israel regarding the settlements clear. The official added that the US believes that unconstrained settlements construction didn’t advance the peace process, and also noted that Israel promised to take Trump’s concerns into account from here on out. (QNA)

Source: Qatar News Agency