European Union (EU) High Representative Josep Borrell on Friday responded to Israel's plan to authorize the construction of 3,500 housing units in the E1 area of Samaria.
"The Israeli authorities have announced construction plans for new building units in Area E1, located east of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. This follows Israel’s announcement last week on the decision for settlement constructions in Giv’at Hamatos and Har Homa neighborhoods south of Jerusalem. Tenders for Giv’at Hamatos have been published this week," Borrell's statement read.
"Settlement construction in these areas will cut the geographic and territorial contiguity between East-Jerusalem and the West Bank. Construction in E1 will sever the connection between Northern and Southern West Bank.
"The EU reiterates its call on Israel to halt settlement construction, to suspend the publication of tenders and to refrain from any measures aimed at the advancement of such construction plans. Settlements are illegal under international law.
"We call on both parties to engage in a dialogue and to refrain from any unilateral action that undermines the viability of the two-state solution."
The EU statement follows condemnation by eight European ambassadors, who "stated their grave concerns about announcements of the Israeli authorities regarding new settlement units in the occupied West Bank & East-Jerusalem, particularly in E1 area, Givat HaMatos & Har Homa."