EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Wednesday said that she was "deeply concerned by the latest Israeli decisions to expedite settlement activities in response to Palestinian accession to UNESCO."Ashton joined other European leaders in asserting that the plan to accelerate building in settlements serves as an impediment to getting Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table."Israeli settlement activity is illegal under international law including in east Jerusalem and an obstacle to peace. We have stated this many times before. We call on Israel to reverse this decision and call on both sides to continue their engagement with the Quartet on advancing peace efforts," Ashton stated.