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Top EU official 'appalled' by Israel plan to commit funds for building more illegal settlements

November 27, 2023 at 1:57 pm

The European Union Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell speaks during a press conference in Brussels, Belgium on November 13, 2023. [Dursun Aydemir – Anadolu Agency]

The EU Foreign Policy chief, on Monday, said that he is “appalled” by reports that the Israeli government will allocate funds for the construction of new illegal settlements in the midst of an ongoing conflict, Anadolu Agency reports.

I’m appalled to learn that in the middle of a war, the Israeli government is poised to commit new funds to build more illegal settlements

Borrell said on X.

This is not self-defence and will not make Israel safer. The settlements are a grave IHL (international humanitarian law) breach, and they are Israel’s greatest security liability

he added.

Borrell is in Spain for the eighth ministerial forum of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), which commenced on Monday in Barcelona, Spain and is being attended by representatives from around 40 nations to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and lay the groundwork for future peace.

Speaking at the forum, Borrell said: “In the history of the most serious conflicts, there is always a moment when the darkness of the situation can only lead to a horizon of peace. I am convinced that beyond the shocks and emotions, that both peoples are committed to peace.”

Spain’s Foreign Minister, Jose Manuel Albares, laid out a framework that he hoped all of the member states attending could agree upon. It includes ending the bloodshed and ensuring that the Gaza Strip is handed back to the Palestinian Authority when the hostilities end.

Many of the nations in the Union also argued for the need for a two-state solution. Albares said he hopes definitive peace talks can be held “as soon as possible so the international community can back the agenda.”

Borrell said: “Because both have equal and legitimate rights to the land, they will have to share it. We need to help them agree on that. Alone, they will not be able to,” said Borrell.

Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, for his part, said: “By opting for peace we are not taking sides. The peace we seek must fulfil Palestinians’ right to freedom and statehood, and must address Israel’s legitimate concerns.”

The Union for the Mediterranean was founded 15 years ago in the wake of the Oslo Accords in the spirit of shared peace and prosperity for the Mediterranean region.

Israel, one of the founding members, did not send representation.

READ: AOHR: All states must stop Israel’s illegal actions in Gaza