The Egyptian Foreign Minister has condemned Israel's latest settlement plans and blamed the Middle East Quartet for "encouraging" the Israelis. Speaking in Washington, Muhammad Amr said that the settlements remain illegal in international law and Israel's move is "treachery" towards the international community.
"We want to restore credibility to the political agreement path towards peace," said Mr. Amr, "but the Israelis have no doubt been encouraged by the Quartet's recent statement which made no mention of the need to halt their illegal settlement expansion."
The Foreign Minister said that Egypt has real concerns about Israel's steady acceleration of settlement building over the past couple of months, during which more than six thousand housing units have been approved by Tel Aviv. "This is causing chaos in the occupied territories," he stressed. "All of the parties supportive of peaceful negotiations must act on their responsibilities to do something in this regard."
Amr added that the Israelis must also carry full responsibility for the effects of such a provocative settlement policy in the light of the exceptional political events in the region.