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Israel’s new settler units make so-called two-state solution impossible: EU

A general view taken on December 28, 2016 shows Israeli construction cranes and excavators at a building site of new housing units in the settlement of Neve Yaakov, in the northern area of East Jerusalem al-Quds. (Photo by AFP)

The European Union (EU)’s high representative for security and foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, has warned that the new wave of Israeli illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank territories mark a “very worrying trend” that will jeopardize the so-called two-state solution to the decades-long conflict in the region.

Mogherini made the remarks in a statement on Wednesday, saying that the EU “is strongly opposed to this policy and deeply regrets that Israel is proceeding with this, despite the continuous serious international concern and objections, which have been constantly raised at all levels.”

Her comments came after the Israeli regime announced that it planned to build more than 3,000 new illegal settler units, including units deep inside the West Bank, following an announcement on 24 January of the construction of 2,500 units and the approval of building permits for 566 settlement units in East Jerusalem al-Quds on January 22.

“Continued settlement expansion, illegal under international law as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334, goes directly against long-standing EU policy and the recommendations of the Quartet Report,” she further said, referring to a 15-year-old entity composed of the United Nations, the US, the UN and Russia, allegedly aimed at mediating the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Mogherini also cautioned that Israeli expansionist policies would pose “a direct challenge to the prospects of a viable two-state solution, which is increasingly difficult and risks becoming impossible.”

Meanwhile, Israeli forces clashed with settlers to evict them from the illegal Amona outpost that had been built on private Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank. Forty settler families were forced to move out following an Israeli court order.

A picture taken on January 3, 2017 shows Israeli construction cranes and excavators at a building site of new housing units in the Israeli settlement of Kochav Ya'akov near the West Bank city of Ramallah (top), adjacent to Qalandiya refugee camp. (Photo by AFP)

On Tuesday, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)’s Secretary General Saeb Erekat also denounced Tel Aviv’s illegal and provocative move, calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch an investigation into the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement expansion in the occupied territories.

UN Security Council Resolution 2334 demands that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.

It also states that the building of settlements by Israel has "no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law."

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The Palestinian Authority wants the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinians state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

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