EU Against Newly Announced Israeli Construction
The European Union has denounced the proposal for construction in Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem beyond the 1949 Armistice Line.
The EU insisted on Monday that Israel and the Palestinian Authority should "avoid any actions which would halt negotiations," according to AFP.
Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton, responded to the announcement for new housing tenders at a news briefing:
"Israeli settlements in the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible."
Recently, the EU issued a directive boycotting Jewish businesses of Judea and Samaria, Eastern Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights, regions which are beyond the 1949 cease-fire line.
The Israeli government disputes claims that Jewish communities in those areas are "illegal."
Following the EU directive, one thousand legal experts from Israel and around the world submitted a letter to European Union Foreign Affairs Commissioner Catherine Ashton, refuting claims of illegality and calling on her to annul the EU's plan.
More recently President Peres urged the EU to freeze its boycott during upcoming talks in Jerusalem. Peres says the European Union’s support will help bring peace.
In the statement made earlier today, Michael Mann stressed that both sides need to show a "sustained willingness to engage in good faith" if the latest talks are to produce "tangible and timely progress."