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France condemns Israel's approval to construct new settlement units

Aug. 25, 2018 2:14 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 30, 2018 9:02 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- France condemned, on Friday, the Israeli authorities approval to allow the construction of thousands of new illegal Israeli settlement units in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The French Ministry of European and Foreign Affairs condemned, in a press release, Israel's recent decision to approve thousands of new settlements and said "these decisions, as well as the demolitions and displacement which the Palestinians are subjected to in Area C, especially in Area E1, are part of the same strategy."

The press release stressed that the decisions and actions taken by Israel directly threaten the feasibility of a future Palestinian state.

"France calls on the Israeli authorities to reconsider these decisions and to abandon their colonial strategy, in order to preserve the two-state solution."

According to rights groups, settlement construction in E1 would effectively divide the West Bank and make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state -- as envisaged by the internationally backed two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict -- almost impossible.

Israeli activity in E1 has attracted widespread international condemnation, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has in the past said that "E1 is a red line that cannot be crossed."

Since the E1 corridor is part of Area C -- the more than 60 percent of the West Bank under full Israeli military control and where Israel’s settlements are planned, the Palestinians living there face routine attempts by Israeli authorities to push them off the land.

As East Jerusalem used to be the primary urban center for Palestinians in the West Bank, the E1 plans would further exacerbate a Palestinian-Palestinian separation that has wreaked havoc on Palestinian economic, social, and political life.

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