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Germany slams Israeli settlement expansion

October 26, 2021 at 6:04 pm

A view of Al-Urme Hill in Beita town, considered the second highest point around the city of Nablus, West Bank on June 6, 2021 [Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency]

Germany, on Tuesday, lambasted ongoing Israeli settlement expansion in Palestinian-controlled territories and occupied Jerusalem, saying it is an obstacle to a two-state solution, Anadolu News Agency reports.

“Very concerned by Israeli publication of tenders for the construction of more than 1,300 housing units in settlements in the West Bank. Settlements are contrary to international law and a substantial obstacle to peace and a two-state solution. They should stop,” tweeted Christian Buck, the Director for Near and Middle East and North Africa at the German Foreign Ministry.

Buck was referring to Israeli plans to build 1,355 homes in the occupied West Bank, which was seized by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War.

Despite being an ally of Israel, Germany has, time and again, gone out of its way to criticise the continued Israeli settlement-building, saying it will only further complicate the so-called Middle East peace process.

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Berlin has repeatedly vowed to continue its efforts, together with the US and other European Union partners, to achieve a mutually acceptable, negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that addresses the legitimate concerns of both sides.

Around 650,000 Israeli Jews currently live in more than 130 settlements built since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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

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