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EU calls on Israel to abandon settlement construction in Palestine

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The European Union has called on Israel to reconsider plans to build settlements in the Palestinian territories, which, according to the EU, are detrimental to the Middle East settlement, said EU High Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Josep Borrell.

“Such steps can cause great damage to the settlement on the basis of the coexistence of two states,” the document said on Saturday.

Last Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel intends to build 2.2 thousand additional housing units and about 4 thousand housing units in the Givat Matos quarter in the Har Homa area in East Jerusalem.

Both districts – both Har Homa and Givat Matos – are located behind the so-called “green line” separating Jewish territories from Arab territories on the West Bank, that is, from the point of view of international law, construction is planned in the territories that were supposed to enter the future Palestinian state.

In this regard, the EU noted that the construction of settlements violates the geographical unity of the Palestinian territories between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, isolates the Palestinian communities living there.

Brussels also recalled that, in accordance with international law, settlements are illegal and the EU will not recognize any changes in borders that existed before 1967, unless this is the result of an agreement between the two parties to the conflict. “We urge Israel to review these plans,” the statement said.

Settlement activities in the occupied West Bank and annexed East Jerusalem, where nearly 600,000 Israelis already live, are considered to be the main irritant in Israel’s relations with the international community and one of the main obstacles in the search for peace with the Palestinians, who perceive it as a policy of consolidating the Jewish state on conquered territories.

The possibility of annexation of settlements by Israel opens up a plan for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement of the United States, presented on January 28 in Washington in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump.

The White House Plan recognizes Jerusalem as the single and indivisible capital of Israel, opens up the possibility for Israel to annex, in addition to the Palestinian territories on the West Bank, the Jordan Valley and proposes the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state, deprived of control over its borders and airspace. As the future capital of Palestine, the plan proposes the village of Abu Dis in the eastern suburbs of Jerusalem, located behind a security fence.

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