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UK condemns Israel over occupied West Bank plans

The illegal Jewish settlement of Neve Yaakov (foreground) in the northern area of east Jerusalem and Israel's controversial barrier separating the Palestinian neighbourhood of al-Ram (background) in the West Bank, on April 1, 2019. [AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP / Getty]
The illegal Jewish settlement of Neve Yaakov in the West Bank, on 1 April 2019 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP /Getty]

Britain on Sunday condemned Israeli state over plans for new settlements in occupied West Bank, Anadolu reports.

“The UK strongly condemns the Israeli authorities’ advancement on 5 April of plans and tenders for yet more settlement units across the West Bank,” Mark Field, acting minister for the Middle East said in a statement.

Field said the recently revealed plans for new settlements “follows the announcement in December for over 2,000 units.”

“Settlements are illegal under international law and undermine the physical viability of the two-state solution,” he said.

Urging Israel to “halt such counterproductive action”, British minister called for “all parties to commit to further efforts to de-escalate current tensions and create the right environment for a just and lasting peace.”

READ: Turkey says ‘irresponsible’ Netanyahu cannot change West Bank status 

Netanyahu vowed to annex the occupied West Bank if he wins the general election, which is slated for April 9.

“We will ensure that we are in charge on the ground. And we will impose sovereignty over the settlements in Judea and Samaria [West Bank],” he said in an interview with Israeli television on Saturday.

In a separate interview on Sunday, Netanyahu said new housing units would be added into settlements.

“We’re going to continue controlling the entire territory west of the  [River] Jordan,” he said, about the occupied West Bank.

Roughly 650,000 Jewish settlers currently live on more than 100 settlements in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there as illegal.

The Palestinians, for their part, want both these territories — along with the Gaza Strip — for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.

READ: Gazans flock to Israel buffer zone for 52nd Friday

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