EU: New housing units in settlements are obstacle to peace

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.
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 Israels security and realize the Palestinians' right to statehood."
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