Europe Asks Israel to Stop Settlements in Palestinian Land

West Bank, MINA – The European Union condemned the existence of all illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. It was stated after Israeli authorities approved the establishment of new settlements in the City of Jericho, West Bank.

“The European Union reiterates that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law,” said EU spokesman for Foreign Policy and Security Maja Kocijancic as quoted from WAFA on Wednesday, September 18.

He called on Israel to stop all settlement building activities. Tel Aviv was also asked to dismantle the posts which had been established since March 2001 according to their previous obligations.

Kocijancic also commented on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex the Jordan Valley and the North Dead Sea if his party’s Likud Party won the Israeli election.

“Such measures, if implemented, constitute serious violations of international law, challenge the two-state solution and threaten regional stability and the prospect of sustainable peace,” he said.

He stressed the European Union would not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders.

“Including those relating to Jerusalem, other than those agreed upon by the parties and will continue to closely monitor the situation, including any steps towards possible annexation,” Kocijancic said.

The Jordan Valley, which is a fertile land area, is home to around 65 thousand Palestinians. It forms about 30 percent of the West Bank.

Since 1967 Israel has moved at least 11 thousand Jews to the Jordan Valley. Some of their settlements were built almost entirely on private land of Palestinians.

There are currently more than 100 illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The settlement is inhabited by around 650 thousand Israeli Jews.

The massive development of illegal settlements, including in East Jerusalem, is considered to be the biggest obstacle to realizing a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine. (T/Sj/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)