The European Union (EU), United Kingdom (UK) and Turkey have publicly criticised Israel’s recent announcement to build a further 2,100 settlement units in the occupied West Bank.
On August 21, Israel announced their plans to construct the new settlement housing units, illegal under international law.
In separate statements, each country stressed their opposition to the illegal building of the settlements and the pressure it will place on the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
The EU issued a statement late on August 23, as published on Palestinian Ma’an Newsagency.
If implemented, these plans would further jeopardize the prospect of a contiguous and viable future Palestinian state, the EU statement said.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry further stated; We strongly condemn the approval by Israel to build over 2,000 additional units in the West Bank, which is under Israeli occupation.
Meanwhile, the UK’s Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt released a statement on August 23 stating the settlements remain obstacles to a viable solution to the Palestinian cause and are “illegal under international law”
I call on Israel to halt such counterproductive action, and for all parties to commit to further efforts to de-escalate current tensions and create the right environment for a just and lasting peace, Burt said.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have also publicly criticised Israel, the Israeli settlement policy is illegal under international law and is a brazen violation of UN resolutions and aggression on rights of the Palestinian people, the OIC said in astatement on Sunday.
Israeli settlements live beyond the internationally recognised borders of their state, on Palestinian land that Israel occupied in 1967 during the six-day war, comprising of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Israel cites the biblical belief that God promised Palestine to the Jews as justification of building settlements.
According to UN figures, there are currently 600,000 to 750,000 Israelis living in 143 locations across the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
International law views all Jewish-settlement building in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to have no legal validity as the land is ‘under occupation’.
The UN considers the building of settlements one of the biggest problems when considering prospect of a two-state solution, with the continued building of settlements making a peace solution ‘increasingly unattainable’.
Source: Palestine Monitor