Berlin, Rome, London, Paris and Madrid ask to stop Israeli settlements

Berlin, Oct 16 (EFE) .- The governments of Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, France and Spain issued a common statement on Friday in which they ask that the construction of new Israeli settlements in the West Bank be stopped.

“We call for an immediate halt to settlement construction, as well as the evictions and demolition of Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem and the West Bank,” the five countries state in that statement.

“The action also undermines efforts to take measures to build trust between the parties with the aim of resuming dialogue,” add the signatories.

The five capitals consider that “the expansion of settlements violates international law and further jeopardizes the viability of a two-state solution to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

On Thursday, the high representative of the European Union (EU) for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, warned for his part that the Israeli approval of new homes in colonies of the occupied West Bank “threatens efforts for a possible resumption of negotiations.” between Palestinians and Israelis.

Israel approved this Thursday more than 2,500 new homes in colonies of the occupied West Bank, almost 1,000 of them permanently and the rest partially; added to those approved yesterday, they bring to 4,948 the new residences authorized in settlements.

Most of the residences approved this week will be built outside the large settlement blocks, on land without contiguity with Israel. Some 560 of them would be raised in the Har GuilĂł settlement, blocking access to the West Bank town of Al Walaja and hindering mobility between the city of Bethlehem and nearby Palestinian communities.

This is the first series of new authorizations in several months, the first since current Defense Minister Beny Gantz took office and since Israel agreed to suspend the annexation of parts of the West Bank under the agreement to normalize relations with United Arab Emirates (UAE). EFE

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