A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (4 November) on the granting of building permits for 181 new housing units in Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem and on the current discussion on clearing Amona, the largest Israeli outpost:
We are very concerned about the granting of building permits for 181 new housing units in the Israeli settlement of Gilo in East Jerusalem.
We are also following with grave concern the current discussions in Israel on the arrangements for the clearance of the illegal outpost Amona in the West Bank, as ruled by the Supreme Court.
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 jeopardise the basis of the two‑state solution.
This was also underlined in the report by the Middle East Quartet, whose recommendations we take very seriously. We expect the parties to refrain from taking measures that undermine the two‑state solution.
Following a ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court, the outpost Amona, which is the largest in the West Bank with some 250 residents and is illegal under Israeli law, must be cleared by 25 December 2016 at the latest, as it is located on privately owned Palestinian land. To date, the residents of Amona have refused to be relocated. At the end of October, the Israeli state applied for the clearance of Amona outpost to be postponed further until July 2017.
In July 2016, a plan for 770 housing units in Gilo settlement was made public and four tenders for a total of 323 housing units in Gilo, Har Homa, Pisgat Ze’ev and Neve Yaakov settlements were published. All of these settlements are in or border on East Jerusalem. On 31 October 2016, the responsible committee in Jerusalem municipal administration approved the construction of 181 housing units in Gilo settlement.