European countries urge Israel to cease settlement construction

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Israel IsraelFifteen European countries urged Israel on Friday to abandon plans for tens of thousands more settlement houses in the West Bank, warning that they would “obstruct” long-term peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

“The new housing units would pose a fresh barrier to the two-state solution,” the nations stated in a joint statement released by their foreign ministries.

“Israeli settlements violate international law and obstruct a just, durable, and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians,” they said.

According to an Israeli non-governmental organization, Israel advanced plans on Thursday for 4,427 housing units for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.

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According to Peace Now, an organization that carefully monitors Israeli settlement development, the Civil Administration’s high planning committee issued final clearance to 2,791 units and preliminary approval to another 1,636 units.

In 1967, Israel annexed the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan. Since then, almost 700,000 Israelis have moved into illegal settlements, according to the majority of the international world.

The house designs are dispersed over Area C, a major section of the West Bank under Israeli military and planning authority. France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Spain are among the 15 European countries that signed the declaration on Friday.

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