Foreign

UK calls for immediate end to Israel’s new settlement construction in East Jerusalem, West Bank

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Britain on Monday voiced its serious concern over the Israeli government’s decision to approve the construction of new settlement units in the West Bank, and called for an immediate end to the construction of these units in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The new Israeli move “could threaten future peace negotiations,” a British Foreign Office spokesperson said in a statement.

“The UK is seriously concerned by the government of Israel’s decision to approve the construction of 780 new settlement units across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including areas deep within the West Bank which could threaten future peace negotiations,” the statement said.

“Settlements are illegal under international law and risk undermining the physical viability of the two-state solution,” said the statement.

“We call for the construction of these in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank to cease immediately,” it said.

The controversial Israeli decision was condemned by Palestine, Egypt, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and other countries and international organizations.

Last Monday, Israel announced plans to build about 800 new settler homes in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said in a press statement sent to Xinhua that the decision to construct the new units in the West Bank’s settlement was a response to the recent killing of an Israeli woman near Jenin.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war and has controlled it ever since, despite international criticism.

Palestinians see the territories as the bulk of their future state. The majority of the international community sees the settlements as illegal.

(XINHUA)

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