Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, on Saturday condemned Israel’s announcement of new construction in the Givat Hamatos and Har Homa neighborhoods in Jerusalem.
In a statement, Borrell warned that “[s]uch steps would be deeply detrimental to a two-state-solution.”
“As set out clearly on numerous occasions by the European Union, including in Council conclusions, such steps would cut the geographic and territorial contiguity between Jerusalem and Bethlehem, isolate Palestinian communities living in these areas, and threaten the viability of a two-state solution, with Jerusalem as capital of both states,” he added.
“Settlements are illegal under international law. The EU will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. We call on Israel to reconsider these plans,” concluded Borrell.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made the announcement on the new construction this past Thursday together with Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion. The construction approved includes 3,000 housing units in Jerusalem's Givat Hamatos and 2,200 housing units in the city's Har Homa neighborhood.
On Friday, France and Germany both condemned the new construction.
The Palestinian Authority (PA) blasted Netanyahu’s announcement as well. Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said that “Netanyahu’s insistence to build thousands of new settler units on the territories of the Palestinian state is a systematic destruction of the two-state solution.”
Abu Rudeineh urged the international community to immediately intervene to stop Israel’s “madness aimed to impose the policy of fait accompli.”