Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday condemned Israel's decision to build 1,257 new settlement units in the illegal settlement of Givat HaMatos, which divides occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank.
In a statement reported by Sputnik, the ministry said: "This decision contradicts the international legal foundation for a settlement in the Middle East."
"The construction of new housing in this area will separate East Jerusalem from Bethlehem, thereby interrupting the territorial continuity of the Palestinian state, which is envisaged by UN resolutions and is indispensable for viability."
According to the statement, the ministry reiterated Russia's position on the "illegality" of Israeli settlements in line with international law.
"We reaffirm Russia's position of principle on the illegal character of Israeli settlements on the West Bank of the River Jordan," the statement said, adding: "Such actions by Israel are an obstacle to reaching a fair Palestinian-Israeli settlement and establishing a durable and comprehensive peace."
"We urge everyone to refrain from any steps that might undermine the prospects for resuming a direct Palestinian-Israeli dialogue on the fundamental final status issues."