The European Union (EU) released a sharply-worded statement criticizing the 1,000 approved housing units in Judea and Samaria on Wednesday.
"Within the past two weeks the Israeli authorities have advanced plans and tenders for over two thousand settlement units in the West Bank including East Jerusalem. If implemented, these plans would further jeopardize the prospect of a contiguous and viable future Palestinian state," said the EU.
"The EU is strongly opposed to Israel's settlement policy which is illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace," continued the statement, adding that the diplomatic body "will continue to engage with both parties and with its international and regional partners to support a resumption of a meaningful process towards a negotiated two-state solution, the only realistic and viable way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties".
Israel had approved construction of more than 1,000 housing units throughout Judea and Samaria on Wednesday. Almost half of the housing units, about 436, are located in the Samaria Regional Council. 108 units for immediate construction were approved in Nofim, the number of units expected to increase the community sitting in the Nahal Kana nature reserve by more than fifty percent.
The relatively low number of approvals had disappointed Yesha leaders, who had hoped for more than 2,000 units. "We're happy about each and every house in Samaria but the truth must be told, that hundreds of housing units aren't enough for an area that constitutes 12% of the State of Israel, with thousands of requests if not more every year," said Samarian Regional Council Chairman Yossi Dagan.