'Illegal': EU Warns Israel Over Settlement Expansion Plans

Geneva Matthews
June 13, 2017

Settlements are considered illegal under worldwide law and are seen as a major obstacle to peace and the so-called two state solution - the creation of an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Sunday for the dismantling of the United Nations agency that aids millions of Palestinian refugees, accusing it of anti-Israeli incitement. Out of these, 3,066 have been given final approval and will soon be built. "We call on the government of the State of Israel to be a rodef shalom (Avot 1:12), the party that pursues peace, ending the military occupation, and laying the groundwork for a Palestinian state, living side-by-side, in peace, with Israel", the letter concluded.

The figures were similar to those published by settlement watchdog Peace Now last week.

Peace Now could not immediately say whether it agreed that this year's figures were the highest since 1992.

"Israel's continued policy of settlement expansion is illegal under global law" and the recent decision "further complicate the prospects for viable two-state solution", the bloc's foreign police chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.

Lieberman said "I am aware more than anyone else of the construction needs in the settlements, and I am also well aware of the restrictions and the pressure that come from the global political community", he said.

However, Trump has given no details about how he plans to restart talks, and there is deep scepticism over whether such an effort would have any chance of success.

During the conflict, Israel defeated the armies of Egypt, Jordan and Syria and seized land including east Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank, including in annexed East Jerusalem, amid some 3 million Palestinians. Netanyahu has said he still supports a two state solution, but peace advocates say his actions show otherwise.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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