EU Foreign Policy Chief Condems Gilo Expansion

06.04.11 – 13:44 Brussels – PNN – On Wednesday European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton released a statement condemning Israel’s expansion of the Gilo settlement beyond the Green Line.



Ashton has stated that the Israeli government has ignored “urgent calls by the international community,” and has also “run counter to achieving a peaceful solution that will preserve Israel’s security and realize the Palestinians’ righ to statehood.”

“The EU is also closely following upcoming plans for settlements on the Mount Scopus Slopes, in Har Homa C and in Pisgat Ze’ev. These plans may further damage an already fragile political environment,” her statement said.

She reiterated that the EU considers the settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, illegal and an obstacle to peace.

The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee is currently reviewing a plan approved at district level two years ago, for 942 new housing units beyond the Green Line, Israeli sources report. The land is controlled by the Jewish National Fund as well as private individuals.

The plan for southwest expansion would not only see construction of residential buildings but also commercial buildings and roads. A subsequent expansion northwest would establish another 850 housing units.

The US has also condemned the new settlement plan, issuing a statement last week that said, “not only are continued Israeli settlements illegitimate, Israel’s actions run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations.”





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