EU, Germany condemn Israeli plans for 2,000 homes in West Bank

TEL AVIV: The European Union on Thursday condemned Israel’s plans to build nearly 2,000 homes in the West Bank, repeating its warning that such construction is illegal under international law.
Israel advanced construction plans for 1,936 homes in the occupied West Bank earlier this week, according to an Israeli watchdog group.
“We call on the government of Israel to fully comply with international law [and] end all settlement activity on occupied territories and related actions,” the EU said in a statement.
Germany’s Foreign Office separately issued a statement condemning the planned construction on Wednesday night. “The German government calls for refraining from activities that may further complicate a peaceful resolution to conflict in the Middle East,” a spokesman said.
According to a 2016 UN Security Council resolution, Israeli settlements are considered illegal under international law and are seen as one of the major hurdles to peace in the Middle East.
Last year, however, the US announced that it was reversing its policy, saying settlements were not inconsistent with international law, a move welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Settlements are continuing to expand unchecked under Netanyahu’s right-wing government, with projects advancing through the approval process with each quarterly session of the planning committee.
Israel seized control of the West Bank and East Jerusalem during the1967 Six-Day War. Today, more than 600,000 Jewish settlers live in those areas. The Palestinians want the territories for their own future state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. — dpa