The European Union has criticized Israel over its growing settlement activities in occupied territories and ill-treatment of Palestinians.
EU foreign ministers issued a harsh critique of Israel on Monday, blaming Tel Aviv for threatening a two-state solution aimed at ending the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict by refusing to stop the construction of illegal settler unites on Palestinian land, settler extremism and ill-treatment of Palestinians.
"The EU expresses deep concern about developments on the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible," the bloc's 27 ministers said in a three-page statement issued during talks in Brussels, reiterating that Jewish settlements on occupied land are illegal under international law.
They also condemned evictions and the demolition of Palestinian homes in annexed east al-Quds (Jerusalem) "and the prevention of peaceful Palestinian cultural, economic, social or political activities" in the West Bank.
The EU ministers also urged Tel Aviv to simplify the granting of building permits to Palestinians in the West Bank.
The EU’s statement came after a report by NGOs suggested that Israel demolished dozens of Palestinian homes, cisterns and farm buildings built with European funds last year.
Palestinians and the international community have repeatedly condemned Israel's settlement activities in the occupied territories, calling it the main obstacle to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Palestinians believe the expansion of Jewish settlements makes the establishment of a future Palestinian state impossible. Palestinians consider East al-Quds as the capital of their future independent state.
Israel occupied the West Bank and east al-Quds during the Six Day War in 1967. Tel Aviv annexed east al-Quds in 1981 and considers it as its exclusive domain, but under international law, the area is considered as an occupied territory and Israeli settlement constructions there are illegal.