On Friday the European Union (EU) renewed its call to the occupation authorities to stop building settlements, to suspend holding tenders and to refrain from taking any measures aimed at promoting settlement construction plans, which are considered illegal under international law.
Following the Israeli government's announcement of plans to build new settlement units in Al-Azariya, known as Area E1, east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank, in addition to declaring its decision to establish settlements south of Jerusalem, where tenders have been held in the village of Al-Walaja, a statement was issued on Friday by the EU high representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Burrell, who confirmed that the EU renews its call to the Israeli authorities to stop these acts that violate international law. The statement also calls to refrain from implementing any projects aimed at expanding settlements, in order to avoid further worsening the situation in the Middle East.
Burrell deems that building settlements in these areas will lead to undermining geographical and regional continuity between East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and that construction works in Area E1 will result in a rift between the north and south of the West Bank, and requested abstaining from undertaking any unilateral action that would shake the validity of the two-state solution.
Before expressing this overt position, the EU confirmed a few days ago that: "The settlements are illegal installations under international law," while reiterating its refusal to recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders, also with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed upon by the two parties.
The EU has criticised the recent US plan to solve the Middle East crisis, known as the "Deal of the Century", considering it "biased" to the occupation state, at the expense of the Palestinians' rights.