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EU criticizes Israel's approval of a new settlement project in Jerusalem

The European Union’s foreign policy chief has said that she “deeply regrets” hearing that the Israeli government has approved expansion plans for the illegal settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank.

Catherine Ashton said in a statement from Brussels that “parties must do their utmost to avoid acts on the ground which undermine confidence. It is in their interest not to derail current efforts to resume direct negotiations.”

She reiterated the fact that “all settlement activities are illegal under international law and threaten the viability of an agreed two-state solution, and noted that this is the third settlement construction project in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem to be approved by the Israeli government in less than a month.

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