London, 25 Syawwal 1437/30 July 2016 (MINA) – The British government has condemned Israeli proposals for additional settlement housing units in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.
“The UK condemns the Israeli authorities’ decision to issue tenders for a further 323 settlement units in East Jerusalem,” Middle East Monitor (Memo) reported on Saturday, quoting the statement of British Minister of State for Middle East Affairs Tobias Ellwood.
“This follows recent development of plans for 770 new units in the Jerusalem suburbs,” he said.
Settlement activity is “counterproductive” added Ellwood. “As set out in the Quartet report, this undermines progress towards a two-state solution.”
Notably, the British MP pointed out that the Israeli announcement “comes on the back of an alarming increase in demolitions of Palestinian houses throughout 2016, including in East Jerusalem.”
He added, “These steps are the latest examples of what seems to be an acceleration of a systematic policy of illegal settlement expansion and demolition of Palestinian property.”
Noting the international rejection of Israeli settlements, Ellwood concluded his statement by saying, “Along with our international partners, we call on Israel to halt all demolitions and settlement activities.” (T/P008/R07)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)