The European Union (EU) on Wednesday evening condemned Israeli plans for new construction in Beit El, saying the plans “call into question the Israeli government's stated commitment to a negotiated two-state solution in the Middle East Peace Process.”
“Moreover, the governmental plans to consider the approval of unauthorized outposts across the West Bank would further undermine the practical possibility of implementing the two-state solution. The EU expects the Israeli government to demonstrate its commitment to the two-state solution not only in words, but also through its actions,” the EU said in a statement, adding that “all settlements are illegal under international law”.
“The European Union reiterates its strong commitment to ensure compliance with international law as a cornerstone of peace and security,” it said, adding it “strongly opposes Israel's settlement policy and actions taken in this context.”
“We urge the government of Israel to urgently reverse recent decisions and put an end to settlement expansion,” the EU said.
The statement came after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had earlier approved the "immediate" construction of the 300 homes in Beit El and planning for another 504 homes in Jerusalem.
The 300 units approved Wednesday were promised by the Israeli government three years ago after the relocation of the Ulpana houses in Beit El, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu publicly denied intending to fulfill that promise earlier this month. Netanyahu's renewed assurance to build the structures is widely seen as direct compensation for the Draynoff saga.
Earlier Wednesday, UN chief Ban Ki-moon also condemned the construction approval, saying that "settlements are illegal under international law, an impediment to peace and cannot be reconciled" with Israel's "stated intention to pursue a two-state solution."
Ban urged Israel "to halt and reverse such decisions in the interest of peace" his spokesman said.