Israeli settlement plans in the West Bank draw condemnation from US, UK, Europe
Dozens of European countries and the US and UK have spoken out about Israel’s new plan to construct thousands of new Israeli housing units in the West Bank. Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett published immediate tenders for more than 1,300 housing units to be built in the West Bank, where he also plans to construct an additional 3,000 homes for Jewish settlers. Under international law, both the West Bank and East Jerusalem are considered occupied territory, and therefore settlements there are illegal. Twelve European countries joined forces to call on Israel to reverse its decision.
The European nations voiced their strong opposition to the policy of settlement expansion in the occupied territories. The countries stated that the move undermines efforts for the two-state solution. The letter was signed by the foreign ministries of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, and Sweden. The UK’s Minister for the Middle East and North Africa released a separate statement, adding that the settlements are an obstacle to peace and stability.