US, UK, Germany, and France publicly denounce settlement expansion


The US, UK, French and German governments condemned Israel’s decision to further expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank last week.

US State Department spokesman John Kirby, on Tuesday, said that the United States was “concerned” with Israel’s moves, noting that there was a “significant increase”: nearly 1,000 acres near Bethlehem, in the Gush Etzion bloc, and another 250 acres in the same area:

“This decision is, in our view, the latest step in what appears to be an ongoing process of land expropriations, settlement expansions and legalization of outposts that is fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution.”

The British government, deemed the Israeli appropriation of the Palestinian land as “illegal”

“We condemn the Israeli government’s decision to take over 585 acres of land in the West Bank as ‘state land’.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry said Wednesday Berlin fears the expropriated land will be used to expand Israeli settlements and make it harder to forge a peace deal with the Palestinians:

“This decision sends a wrong signal at the wrong time. Especially in the current tense situation, both parties in the Middle East conflict are called on to take steps for de-escalation and to find ways that lead to an urgently needed resumption of peace negotiations.”

The EU’s foreign policy service also issued a statement criticizing Israel for its appropriation of Palestinian land: “Israel’s decision … is a further step that risks undermining the viability of a future Palestinian state and therefore calls into question Israel’s commitment to a two-state solution.”
Read full article in the International Middle East Media Centre

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