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EU, UK condemn Israel's approval of new settlement units

Aug. 24, 2018 12:21 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 28, 2018 12:54 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The European Union (EU) condemned the Israeli government's approval of constructing some 1,000 new settlements units in the occupied West Bank.

The EU said in a statement, issued late Thursday, that "within the past two weeks the Israeli authorities have advanced plans and tenders for over two thousand settlement units in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. If implemented, these plans would further jeopardize the prospect of a contiguous and viable future Palestinian state."

The EU stressed that it strongly opposes Israel's settlement policy, saying that the policy is illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace.

The statement also said that the EU "will continue to engage with both parties and with its international and regional partners to support a resumption of a meaningful process towards a negotiated two-state solution, the only realistic and viable way to fulfill the legitimate aspirations of both parties."

Meanwhile, the United Kingdom (UK) has also condemned the announcement, stressing that these settlements are "illegal under international law" and that they remain to be obstacles to a viable solution to the Palestinian cause.

UK Minister for Middle East Alistair Burt called upon Israel to halt "such counterproductive action" and to de-escalate current tensions and create the right environment for a just and lasting peace.

Israel's Civil Administration's Higher Planning Council had announced, on Wednesday, considering to approve the construction of 2,000 settlement units, including 1,000 completely new settlement units.

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