BRUSSELS, Sunday, November 15, 2020 (WAFA) - European Union High Representative Josep Borrell warned that the announced Israeli settlement activity will lead to the continuing weakening of efforts to rebuild trust and confidence between the parties which is necessary for an eventual resumption of meaningful negotiations.
“I am deeply worried by the Israeli authorities’ decision to open the bidding process for the construction of housing units for an entirely new settlement at Givat Hamatos,” he said in a statement.
“This is a key location between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. Any settlement construction will cause serious damage to the prospects for a viable and contiguous Palestinian State and, more broadly, to the possibility of a negotiated two-state solution in line with the internationally agreed parameters and with Jerusalem as the future capital of two states,” he added.
Borrell stressed that settlements are illegal under international law: “The EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001. It remains the EU’s firm position that settlements are illegal under international law.”
“The Government of Israel should instead show vision and responsibility and reverse these negative decisions at this critical and sensitive time,” the statement concluded.
Israel approved tenders for the construction of 1257 new housing units in an illegal West Bank settlement; located between the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem. These new housing units would separate Jerusalem from the West Bank city of Bethlehem.