World, Europe

European countries urge Israel to halt building plans in West Bank

12 states express their 'firm opposition' to Israel’s policy of expanding settlements in occupied Palestinian territories

Alyssa McMurtry   | 28.10.2021
European countries urge Israel to halt building plans in West Bank

OVIEDO, Spain 

Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Norway, Poland and Sweden released a joint statement on Thursday insisting that Israel halt its plans to expand settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.

“We urge the Israeli Government to revoke its decision to advance the construction plans for around 3,000 new homes in the West Bank settlements,” said the statement, which was released by Spain’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

The 12 European nations highlighted that Israel’s plans “violate international law and undermine the efforts going into making a two-state solution a reality.”

They called on all parties to respect the UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which states that Israel’s settlement activity is a "flagrant violation" of international law and has "no legal validity."

On Wednesday, Israel’s Higher Planning Council approved a decision to build 3,144 settlement units in the West Bank.

The US has also sharply criticized Israel’s decision.

On Tuesday, the US State Department said it was “deeply concerned” by Israel’s plans to advance new settlement homes, including many deep inside the West Bank.

“We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm and damages the prospects for a two-state solution,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a news conference in Washington.

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