EU slams new Israeli settlement plan

PressTV – Sat Aug 6, 2011 1:56PM GMT

Israel’s illegal settlement units being constructed south of al-Quds, file photo
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemns Tel Aviv’s decision to build 900 settlement units in the neighborhood of Har Homa in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

“I am profoundly disappointed,” AFP reported Ashton saying on Friday.

“The European Union has repeatedly urged Israel to immediately end all settlement activities in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem (al-Quds). All settlement activities are illegal under international law,” she added.

Ashton said that Israel’s approval on Thursday would further complicate the resumption of talks between the two sides at a time when many in the international community have been working to find a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“Continued settlement undermines trust between the parties and efforts to resume negotiations. This is especially true with regard to Jerusalem (al-Quds),” she said.

Talks between the two sides reached a standstill in 2010 after Israel resumed its expansionary settlement policy in the occupied territories after a ten-month partial freeze.

The Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erakat, also condemned Tel Aviv’s approval in a Friday statement.

“This (Israeli) government is determined to invest solely in the entrenchment of the occupation, rather than peace. By approving the expansion of this illegal settlement, Israel makes clear its intention to turn this occupation into an effective annexation,” Erekat said.

“Israel is intent on sabotaging any international effort to reach a negotiated settlement to the conflict based on the principle of two states,” he added.

In 1967, Israeli forces invaded the Palestinian territories of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem).

Moreover, Israel has called all of al-Quds as its “eternal and indivisible” capital.

PM/HGH/MMN

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