construction work in beitar illit 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The European Union on Tuesday criticized an Israeli plan to build over 300 new housing units in two West Bank settlements, AFP reported quoting an EU spokeswoman.
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The Ministry of Housing and Construction on Monday published tenders for 336 settlement units, 294 of which will be built in the Beitar Illit settlement just outside of Jerusalem and 42 in the Karnei Shomron settlement outside of Kfar Sava.
"We reiterate that the EU considers that settlement activities in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem, are illegal under international law, undermine trust between the parties and constitute an obstacle to peace," Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, was quoted as saying by AFP.
She added, "These actions run counter to the repeated efforts of the international community to achieving a peaceful solution to the conflict that will preserve Israel's security and realize the Palestinians' right to statehood."
The Palestinian Authority on Monday also strongly condemned plans to
build new homes in West Bank settlements as unacceptable and illegal and
said it was now more determined to proceed with its statehood bid in September
Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, said
that the continued construction in the settlements “prompts us to go to
the UN and the Security Council to ask for recognition of a Palestinian
state and full membership in the UN.”
Abu Rudaineh said that the decision to build new homes in the
settlements in particular and the Israeli government’s policy regarding
settlements in general was completely unacceptable “because all the
settlements are illegitimate and must be removed.”