The European Union condemned the decision of the Israeli government to approve plans to build 780 new homes in Judea and Samaria and called on the government to reverse its decision.
In a statement, the EU said: ‘’Israel’s latest decision to advance plans for the approval and construction of almost 800 new settlement units in the West Bank, is contrary to international law and further undermines the prospects of a viable two-state solution.’’
One hundred of the units will be built in Tal Menashe, a settlement in northern Samaria that was home to Esther Horgen, a 52-year-old mother of six killed on Dec. 21 by a Palestinian terrorist while she was jogging in the forest near her house. More than 200 units will be built in Nofei Nehemia/Rehelim as well as approximately 400 units in Beit El, Evyatar, Shavei Shomron, Oranit, the Barkan Industrial Zone, Karnei Shomron and Givat Ze’ev.
The EU reiterated its call on the Israeli government ‘’to suspend the ongoing bidding process for the construction of housing units for an entirely new settlement in Givat Hamatos.’’
The statement adds: ‘’The EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001. It remains the EU’s firm position that settlements are illegal under international law. The EU calls upon both parties to avoid unilateral steps that could undermine the two state-solution.’’
The EU said the Israeli moves ‘’are also counterproductive in light of the positive developments of normalization agreements between Israel and a number of Arab States.’’
We call upon the Government of Israel to reverse these decisions on settlements and show leadership to rebuild trust and confidence between the parties, which is necessary for an eventual resumption of meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
Israel and the United States dispute the illegality of construction in Judea and Samaria. The U.S. State Department declared on Nov. 18, 2019, that such construction was not necessarily a violation of international law.