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EU calls on Israel to reverse decision to expand settlements in occupied West Bank

Palestinians block a road to stop Israeli settlers from passing during a demonstration against Jewish settlements in the village Kafr Malik in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on November 20, 2020 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]
Palestinians block a road to stop Israeli settlers from passing during a demonstration against Jewish settlements in the village Kafr Malik in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on November 20, 2020 [ABBAS MOMANI/AFP via Getty Images]

The European Union called on Wednesday for Israel to reverse its decision to build new housing units in Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. It added that the bloc will not recognise changes to the 1967 nominal borders without agreement.

"The increase in evictions and demolitions throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, especially the evolving situation in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, in East Jerusalem, and possibility of demolishing buildings in the village of Al Walaja, is a cause for concern," said officials on behalf of the European Union High Representative for External Relations and Security Policy, Josep Borrell.

The statement added that in April, the West Jerusalem municipality approved the construction of 540 housing units in the Har Homa settlement, which is built on the lands of Jabal Abu Ghneim, south of Jerusalem.

The EU pointed out that the implementation of these plans, especially the construction of additional housing units in the settlement of Givat Hamatos near the settlement of Har Homa, would "sever the link between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem and undermine the negotiations for a two-state solution". Haaretz reported last month that "more than 2,000 additional housing units will be added in the settlement of Givat Hamatos."

The EU statement reminded Israel that, "All settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal according to international law. The European Union reiterates its call to the Israeli government to stop building settlements and to urgently reverse its recent decisions."

UK Consul General: 'East Jerusalem is occupied, illegally annexed'

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