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EU countries condemn Israel's plan to build 5,000 settlement units

A picture taken on June 30, 2020 from the West Bank village of al-Khader near the biblical town of Bethlehem shows the illegal Israeli settlement of Efrat [HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images]
An Israeli settlement in the West Bank on 30 June 2020 [HAZEM BADER/AFP via Getty Images]

Europe's main powers on Friday condemned the Israeli intention to approve thousands of settlement units in illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, a joint statement announced.

"The expansion of settlements violates international law and further imperils the viability of a two-state solution to bring about a just and lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," revealed the statement signed by the foreign ministers of Germany, France, UK, Italy and Spain.

"As we have emphasised directly with the government of Israel, this step furthermore undermines efforts to rebuild trust between the parties with a view to resuming dialogue," the statement added.

The foreign ministers stressed that building settlements: "Is also a counterproductive move in light of the positive developments of normalisation agreements reached between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain."

READ: Israel to confiscate 3,000 acres of Palestinian land in occupied Jordan Valley

Therefore, they called for: "An immediate halt to settlement construction, as well as to evictions and demolitions of Palestinian structures in East-Jerusalem and the West Bank."

The foreign ministers concluded: "We call for the full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 with all its provisions. We emphasise that we will not recognise any changes to the 4 June, 1967, lines, including with regards to Jerusalem, unless agreed to between the parties. The suspension of plans to annex parts of occupied Palestinian territories must become permanent."

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