By Agnes Szucs
BRUSSELS (AA) – The EU on Sunday called on Israel to “end all settlement activity,” in the occupied West Bank.
“Israel's latest decision to advance plans for the approval and construction of almost 800 new settlement units in the West Bank, is contrary to international law and further undermines the prospects of a viable two-state solution”, said a statement issued by the European Commission’s spokesperson on foreign affairs.
The statement urged Israeli authorities to suspend the bidding process for the construction of new housing units for an entirely new settlement in Givat Hamatos.
It said these moves undermined “the positive developments of normalization agreements between Israel and a number of Arab States”.
Last Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he has instructed to build 800 settlement units in the West Bank.
The Israeli authorities approved the construction of 530 new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Encouraged by the US President Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century, Netanyahu announced in May that his government would formally annex the Jordan Valley and all settlement blocs in the West Bank.
The West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is seen as occupied territory under international law, thus making all Jewish settlements there – as well as the planned annexation – illegal.
Like Turkey and much of the international community, the EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories it has occupied since 1967.
The EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity and to dismantle the already existing ones since 2001.