Israel: Statement by the Spokesperson on further settlement expansion

On Wednesday, the Israeli authorities announced the publication of tenders for the construction of more than 2,860 housing units in 30 Israeli settlements, including some deep inside the West Bank. This follows the announcement on Sunday of tenders published for the construction of more than 1,300 housing units in Israeli settlements, as well as in Givat Hamatos, in occupied East Jerusalem.

Settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between the parties. The European Union has consistently made clear that it is strongly opposed to the expansion of settlements and will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties.

We renew our call upon the Government of Israel to reverse these steps which are completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm, to halt settlement construction, and to focus on furthering meaningful re-engagement between the parties, advancing confidence-building measures and improving living conditions for ordinary people, which are urgently needed. The EU will continue to play its part supporting steps towards sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

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