Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney condemned last week Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“I condemn decisions this week by the Israeli authorities approving the construction of thousands of housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank,” the Irish minister said in a press release published on the website of his ministry.
“This week’s announcements include construction in areas such as Hebron, which are far from the 1967 border, and which could never be included in any possible agreed land swap between the parties,” he added, noting that this “breaks up the land area on which a Palestinian state is to be established”.
Referring to the latest Israeli announcements to build thousands of new settlement units, he said: “I am also deeply concerned about announcements of construction in sensitive areas of East Jerusalem, and by the ongoing dispossession and eviction of Palestinian residents, to make way for illegal settlement activity”.
He stated that “such unilateral and provocative actions undermine the credibility of the Israeli authorities’ commitment to a peaceful, negotiated solution, something which is essential for Israel to secure its future and for Palestinians to enjoy their full political rights”.
Concluding his statement, the Irish minister said: “I call on Israel to reverse these decisions, which represent a serious threat to the two state solution to which Ireland, the EU, and the international community, are fully committed.”