A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (26 February) on yesterday’s announcement of new settlement plans:
The German Government is deeply concerned about the latest announcement by the Israeli Government to move ahead with settlement construction in the strategically important E1 zone. The settlement construction in the E1 zone would further divide occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank and thus significantly impede the chances for a contiguous and viable Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution.
The German Government calls on the Israeli Government to refrain from implementing these plans and to cease the expansion of settlements in violation of international law. It calls on both sides to engage in dialogue and urges them to refrain from taking any steps that would impede the start of a dialogue after the formation of an Israeli Government.
In this context, we refer to UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which reaffirms the assessment under international law. The Federal Government takes this opportunity to reiterate the fact that it will only recognise amendments to the lines of 4 June 1967, including those with regard to Jerusalem, that are agreed by the parties through negotiations.
On 25 February, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that he had given instructions to publish plans on settlement construction in the contested E1 zone between Maale Adumim settlement and Jerusalem. The Israeli Government had previously announced plans on 20 February for the construction of over 5000 housing units in Israeli settlements in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem.