Federal Foreign Office on Israeli settlement announcements

16.11.2020 - Press release

A Federal Foreign Office spokesperson issued the following statement today (16 November) on the bidding process for the settlement at Givat Hamatos:

The Federal Government notes with great concern the opening of the bidding process on the building of the Givat Hamatos settlement in East Jerusalem. This step sends the wrong message at the wrong time. Settlement activities in the occupied territories are not compatible with international law and endanger the possibility of a negotiated two-state solution. The tendering procedure for Givat Hamatos should be stopped.

We hope and expect that the Israeli Government will renew its commitment to the two-state solution and underpin this with practical steps. This is a position we have repeatedly underscored in numerous sets of talks with the Israeli Government – also together with our European partners.

The Federal Government reaffirms its support for a negotiated two-state solution based on internationally recognised parameters. Against this backdrop, the Federal Government underscores its expectation that both sides contribute to de-escalation by means of confidence-building steps.

Background information:

On 15 November, the Israeli Government published calls for tenders to build 1,257 housing units in the Givat Hamatos settlement area in East Jerusalem. A previous freeze on construction was lifted in February 2020. Givat Hamatos together with the settlement Har Homa would close the so-called settlement ring south of Jerusalem and thus separate East Jerusalem from Bethlehem. This would make implementing the two-state solution in line with internationally recognised parameters considerably more difficult. This morning, diplomats from several EU member states, including Germany, travelled to Givat Hamatos to assess the situation first-hand and to express their concern about the new tendering procedures.


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