Tuesday, 19 Nov 2019 - 21 of Heshvan, 5780

EU calls on Israel to end ‘illegal’ West Bank settlement activity, says firing of rockets from Gaza unacceptable

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’The European Union’s position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace, as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334,’’ the statement said.

BRUSSELS —The European Union has called on Israel to end all ‘’illegal’’ settlement activity in the West Bank.

‘’In October 2019, Israeli authorities approved the advancement of well over 2.000 housing units in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank,’’ said a statement by the EU spokesperson.

‘’The European Union’s position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace, as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334,’’ the statement added.

The statement also mentioned that ‘’Israeli authorities also approved a building permit for the construction of a new tunnel road, which bypasses Bethlehem to the west.’’ ‘’The progressive construction of a separate road network, connecting settlements and outposts to each other and to the road network in Israel while circumventing Palestinian towns and communities, is entrenching the fragmentation of the West Bank,’’ the spokesperson said.

The EU called on Israel ‘’to end all settlement activity, in line with its obligations as an occupying power.’’

The EU said it will continue ‘’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.’’

Earlier, the European Union issued a statement on the latest escalation on the Gaza border.

‘’The last few days have seen the firing of more than a dozen rockets from Gaza into Southern Israel by Palestinian armed groups,’’ it said, adding that ‘’the firing of rockets against civilian populations is unacceptable and must stop immediately and unconditionally.’’

‘’The priority should be to work on immediate de-escalation to protect civilian lives. Israelis and Palestinians both have the right to live in peace, security and dignity. Only a political solution can put an end to the violence,’’ the EU stated.

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