LONDON, Friday, October 16, 2020 (WAFA) – Europe's main powers condemned today Israel's decision to approve thousands of housing units in the illegal settlements of the occupied Palestinian territories, calling it a “counterproductive” move that undermines regional peace efforts.
“The expansion of settlements violates international law and further imperils the viability of a two-state solution to bring about a just and lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said a joint statement by the foreign ministers of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain.
“As we have emphasized directly with the government of Israel, this step furthermore undermines efforts to rebuild trust between the parties with a view to resuming dialogue,” they said, urging an immediate halt in settlement construction.
The foreign ministers said the move was counterproductive in light of the developments of the normalization agreements reached between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The agreements have already been condemned by the Palestinians. "We therefore call for an immediate halt to settlement construction, as well as to evictions and to demolitions of Palestinian structures in East-Jerusalem and the West Bank."
"We call for the full implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2334 with all its provisions. We emphasize that we will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regards to Jerusalem, unless agreed to between the parties. The suspension of plans to annex parts of Occupied Palestinian Territories must become permanent."