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13 European States Call for Israel to Stop Building 3,000 Illegal Settlement Homes


Israeli settler showing his child how to operate a machine-gun at festival to mark the anniversary of Israel’s “independence” at the occupied West Bank settlement of Efrat (Image Credit: Gali Tibbongali/AFP)

Only a day after the a White House rebuke, the UK, France and Germany joined calls for Israel to ‘immediately’ halt their controversial new settlement project.

“We strongly oppose the expansion of settlements, which is completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm and damages the prospects for a two-state solution,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.

Then the United States Embassy in Jerusalem’s chargé d’affaires Michael Ratney called the Israeli PM’s chief foreign policy adviser Shimrit Meir to oppose the plan.

Only Tel Aviv wasn’t listening. Israeli leadership simply ignored the increasingly weak Biden Administration’s calls to cease the illegal building of new settlements in Palestine’s the West Bank.

This latest Israeli incursion deep into West Bank will further derail’s the US policy of promoting the increasingly dubious ‘two-state solution’ for Israel and Palestine – a solution which most other experts around the world already acknowledge – including leading voices in both Israel and Palestine – has already passed its sell-by date.

So is the current US Administration merely playing the role of controlled opposition on behalf of the Israeli lobby?

Haaretz reports…

A group of 12 countries on Thursday collectively urged Israel to scrap plans for the construction of more than 3,000 settler homes in the West Bank. The United Kingdom separately issued a similar statement urging Israel to reverse plans for fresh settlement construction.

A day after the US criticized the plan, France, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden said in a joint statement that Israel should cancel its decision to build in the settlements.

“We urge the Government of Israel to reverse its decision to advance plans for the construction of around 3,000 settlement units in the West Bank,” the foreign ministries of the 12 said.

“We reiterate our strong opposition to its policy of settlement expansion across the Occupied Palestinian Territories, which violates international law and undermines efforts for the two-state solution,” they said.

In its own statement, the UK said settlements “are illegal under international law and present an obstacle to peace and stability.” It urged Jerusalem to reverse its decision.

Israel on Wednesday made fresh moves towards building the settler homes in the West Bank, a move also condemned by the Palestinians.

The Civil Administration’s high planning committee gave final approval to 1,800 homes and initial endorsement for another 1,344, according to a spokesman for the military body that oversees civilian matters in the Palestinian territories…

Continue this story at Haaretz

READ MORE PALESTINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Palestine Files

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