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Germany, Italy, France Call on Israel to End Illegal Settlement Activities in Jerusalem

Germany, Italy, France Call on Israel to End Illegal Settlement Activities in Jerusalem

Sunday, 23 February, 2020 - 08:00
A laborer works at a construction site in the Israeli settlement of Ramot, as the Israeli settlement of Ramat Shlomo is seen in the background, January 22, 2017. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

Germany and Italy have rejected Israel’s decision to build thousands of settlement units in Jerusalem.

Germany called on Israel to end its illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“The German government once again calls on the Israeli government to abandon plans to build new housing units in Jabal Abu Ghneim and Givat Hamatos in occupied East Jerusalem and to stop the construction of settlements in the occupied territories that violate international law,” it added, making reference to United Nations Security Council resolution 2334, which confirmed the illegality of the Israeli settlements.

"These new housing units would separate occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank and therefore, undermine the possibility of establishing a contiguous and viable Palestinian state as part of a negotiated two-state solution,” read a German Foreign Ministry statement.

Berlin “would only recognize changes on the June 4, 1967 borders that are reached through negotiations, including in Jerusalem.”

Italy expressed deep concern over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement to proceed with the construction of thousands of housing units in East Jerusalem. “We therefore urge the Israeli authorities to reconsider the declared decision,” it said.

The French Foreign Ministry condemned Israel’s plans, stating “expansion of these two settlements directly undermines the viability of a future Palestinian state, as the European Union has reiterated on several occasions.”

It reaffirmed that “the two-state solution, with both states living in peace and security within secure, recognized borders and with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.”

Netanyahu announced that 2,200 additional housing units would be built in the Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem, noting there are now 40,000 residents in Har Homa.

Further, the Construction Ministry filed a request for the construction of 9,000 Israeli homes in the Atarot area of northern Jerusalem.

The Palestinian presidency, Jordan and Turkey have denounced these plans.

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