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Germany slams Israel settlement expansion, warns of ‘one-state reality’

Israeli settlement construction site in Jerusalem, on 29 December 29, 2016 [Daniel Bar On/Anadolu Agency]

The German government has condemned the latest steps taken by Israeli authorities to expand settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).

In a statement released by the German Foreign Office yesterday, Berlin noted how “plans to construct almost 3,000 additional housing units in the West Bank were adopted this week”.

The German government stated it “would like to take this opportunity to reiterate the fact that it will not recognise any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations”.

Read: France condemns Israeli settlement plans

Berlin continued that

while settlement construction in violation of international law is not the only obstacle to a two‑state solution, each new housing unit cements a one‑state reality in which the Palestinians continue to be denied the full enjoyment of their political rights.

Explicit reference to a one-state reality where Palestinians are denied their basic rights is unusual for a European government’s condemnation of Israelis settlement construction.

The German Foreign Office statement continued: “The feasibility of a contiguous and viable Palestinian state is undermined, among other things, by the fact that East Jerusalem is becoming increasingly cut off from the West Bank.”

“Against this backdrop, we are following reports on the continued construction of the Givat Hamatos settlement with particular concern. We call on the Israeli side to refrain from these actions.”

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