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Statement by the Federal Foreign Office on settlement construction in the West Bank

08.04.2019 - Press release

A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (8 April) on settlement construction in the West Bank:

The German Government is extremely concerned about reports that the construction of and tenders for thousands of new housing units in settlements in the West Bank have been approved.

Like its partners in the European Union, the German Government regards the settlements in the Palestinian territories as illegal under international law and as a major obstacle to the possibility of a two-state solution to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians. It also regards the planned forced evictions and demolition of houses, including in the East Jerusalem districts of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan, with great concern. The same applies to the situation concerning the village of Khan al‑Ahmar, whose inhabitants have been threatened with eviction.

Should these reports be confirmed, the German Government would see this as a further undermining of a solution to this decades‑long conflict. It thus calls on the Israeli authorities to refrain from taking any steps that would hinder or rule out a two‑state solution.

The German Government continues to stand resolutely to the international agreed principles of a negotiated peace settlement.

Background information:

According to media reports, the Civil Administration’s Higher Planning Committee, which meets every three months, approved 28 plans on 4 April for the construction of at least 3659 new housing units. At least 2656 of these units would be in settlements to the east of the demarcation line, and a large number (1200) would be in isolated settlements deep in the West Bank. The Higher Planning Committee last approved construction plans for 2191 housing units in settlements on 25 and 26 December 2018.

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