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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
LONDON — European powers have asked Israel to stop its settlement expansion policy across occupied Palestinian territories.
In a joint statement on Thursday, the governments of France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom called the Israeli settlements illegal
“We urge the government of Israel to reverse its decision to advance the construction of 540 settlement units in the Har Homa E area of the occupied West Bank and to cease its policy of settlement expansion across the Occupied Palestinian Territories,” according to the statement.
“Settlements are illegal under international law, and threaten prospects for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
They warned that the Israeli move will further damage to the prospects for a viable Palestinian state and undermines peace efforts.
“If implemented, the decision to advance settlements in Har Homa, between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem, will cause further damage to the prospects for a viable Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as the capital of both Israel and a Palestinian State,” the statement read.
“This move, alongside settlement advancement in Givat HaMatos and continued evictions in East Jerusalem, including in Sheikh Jarrah, also undermines efforts to rebuild trust between the parties, following the positive resumption of Israeli-Palestinian cooperation,” the statement added.
In the statement, the European countries called on both sides to refrain from any unilateral action and resume a credible and meaningful dialogue, to advance efforts for the two-state solution and an end to the conflict.
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