The European Union issued a rebuke of Israel Sunday, after the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee approved hundreds of new homes in Judea and Samaria.
In a statement issued Sunday night, the EU castigated Israel for planning new construction in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, calling the move a violation of international law.
“Israel's latest decision to advance plans for the approval and construction of almost 800 new settlement units in the West Bank, is contrary to international law and further undermines the prospects of a viable two-state solution.”
The EU also urged Israel to freeze plans to market homes set to be built in the Givat Hamatos neighborhood of Jerusalem, which the EU does not recognize as being in sovereign Israeli territory.
“The EU also reiterates its call on the government of Israel to suspend the ongoing bidding process for the construction of housing units for an entirely new settlement in Givat Hamatos.”
In addition, Brussels demanded Israel not only freeze all settlement activity in Judea and Samaria, but also demolish all “outpost” towns established in the past 20 years.
“The EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001. It remains the EU’s firm position that settlements are illegal under international law. The EU calls upon both parties to avoid unilateral steps that could undermine the two state-solution.”
“At this critical juncture for peace in the Middle East, these moves are also counterproductive in light of the positive developments of normalization agreements between Israel and a number of Arab States. We call upon the Government of Israel to reverse these decisions on settlements and show leadership to rebuild trust and confidence between the parties, which is necessary for an eventual resumption of meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”
Earlier on Sunday, the Israeli Defense Ministry's Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee issued building permits to 792 new homes in towns across Samaria.