EU condemns Israeli settlements as “illegal”

BRUSSELS, The European Union Monday slammed the approval by Israeli authorities in October of the advancement of well over 2,000 housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

“The European Union’s position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace,” said Maja Kocijanic, EU spokesperson for foreign policy, in a statement.

She noted that Israeli authorities also approved a building permit for the construction of a new tunnel road, which bypasses Bethlehem to the west.

“The progressive construction of a separate road network, connecting settlements and outposts to each other and to the road network in Israel while circumventing Palestinian towns and communities, is entrenching the fragmentation of the West Bank,” said the statement.

The EU called on Israel to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power.

The EU will continue to support a resumption of a meaningful process towards a negotiated two-state solution, the only realistic and viable way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties, added the EU spokesperson.

Meanwhile, in a separate statement released last night, the EU condemned the firing of rockets against civilian populations in southern Gaza as “unacceptable” and “must stop immediately.” “Israelis and Palestinians both have the right to live in peace, security and dignity. Only a political solution can put an end to the violence,” said Kocijancic.

Source: Kuwait News Agency