The United Kingdom is "deeply disappointed" in Israel's decision to upgrade Ariel University Center to a full-fledged university, British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt said in a statement released Thursday.
is beyond the Green Line in a settlement that is illegal according to
international law," Burt stated. "This decision will deepen the presence
of the settlements in the Palestinian territories and will create
another obstacle to peace."
He reiterated the country's call to reverse recent decisions to approve the construction of new housing units beyond the Green Line along with the latest move in Ariel.
added that in a conversation with Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas last week, he had commended the PA's "measured response"
to the recent settlement decisions.
"We welcome that President
Abbas has publicly rejected the recent inflammatory statements by Hamas
leaders, and that he has stated clearly the position of the legitimate
Palestinian leadership which has accepted the State of Israel in 1967
borders," Burt continued.
Burt stressed that the UK "utterly and reservedly" condemns the recent call for a third intifada by a senior Hamas official.
British minister repeated calls on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and
Abbas to show strong leadership
in order to return to the negotiating table and expressed hope that 2013
would be the "year of peace" for the region.