A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson today (27 July) issued the following statement on Israel’s latest announcements of its intention to push ahead with settlements in East Jerusalem and adjacent parts of the West Bank:
We are extremely concerned at Israel’s announcements in recent days that it is pushing ahead with the construction of over 1000 housing units in settlements in East Jerusalem and the adjacent parts of the West Bank.
The Federal Government has repeatedly made its standpoint clear: settlement activities in the occupied territories violate international law. Settlements are an additional obstacle to the possibility of a peace process and undermine the basis of the two-state solution.
Indeed the Middle East Quartet stressed exactly that in its recent report. We take the recommendations contained in this report very seriously and expect the parties to refrain from taking any measures that undermine the two-state solution.
On 21 July 2016, a plan for 770 housing units in the Gilo settlement was deposited for public view. This plan advances parts of an older plan which would further expand the Gilo settlement on the southern perimeter of East Jerusalem. The settlement is near the Christian Cremisan Monastery, in the vicinity of which construction work on the fence is continuing on Palestinian territory. On 27 July 2016, the Israeli authorities put out four tenders for a total of 323 housing units in the Gilo, Har Homa, Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov settlements. All these settlements are in or directly adjacent to East Jerusalem.