Middle East, Europe

EU 'deeply deplores' Israeli decision to expand settlements in occupied West Bank

EU foreign policy chief urges Israeli authorities to reverse decision, which runs counter to international law

Agnes Szucs   | 13.05.2022
EU 'deeply deplores' Israeli decision to expand settlements in occupied West Bank

BRUSSELS 

The European Union on Thursday condemned Israel’s recent approval of plans to expand illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and urged it to reverse the decision. 

“The European Union condemns and deeply deplores today’s approval, by Israeli authorities, of plans for advancing over 4,400 housing units, further expanding illegal settlements across the occupied West Bank,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

Borrell also disapproved of the retroactive authorization of three illegal outposts.

“The EU urges Israel to reverse such decisions,” he asserted, pointing out that the move is against international law and threatens the two-state solution.

Borrell also stressed that the decision is “completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions” and called on both parties to work on resuming negotiations to ensure peace and security in Israel and Palestine as well.

In response to the Israeli Supreme Court’s decision in the Masafer Yatta eviction case on Tuesday, the EU also warned Israel against evictions, demolitions and forced population transfers.

The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there illegal.

Like Turkiye and much of the international community, the EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories it has occupied since 1967.

Since 2001, the EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity and to dismantle the existing settlements.

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