Egypt condemns Israeli bill to legitimise settlements in occupied West Bank

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 Nov 2016

The Egyptian foreign ministry expressed 'deep concern' about the bill

Israeli settlement Ofra
The occupied West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra is photographed as seen from the Jewish settler outpost of Amona in the West Bank, during an event organised to show support for Amona which was built without Israeli state authorisation and which Israel's high court ruled must be evacuated and demolished by the end of the year as it is built on privately-owned Palestinian land, October 20, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt condemned on Tuesday an Israeli bill that would allow legitimisation of unauthorised Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. 

On Sunday, Israeli ministers approved draft legislation that would grant legal status to the Israeli outposts on occupied Palestinian land, allowing settlers in the occupied West Bank to remain in homes built on private Palestinian land.

The draft bill is expected to be debated by parliament on Wednesday.

In an official statement by the Egyptian foreign ministry, spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid expressed Egypt’s “deep concern” that the bill would be a preface to giving legitimacy to settlements.

Abu Zeid stressed that the continued Israeli settlement activities "diminishes the chances of a successful two-state solution and undermines the peace efforts process.”

Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said Palestine intends to seek the UN’s help to put a halt to Israel’s plans.

Egypt, which aims to revive the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, is among several countries who have condemned the Israeli move.

On Monday, the United States described the Israeli move as an "unprecedented and troubling" step.

France, one of the main sponsors of the peace process, said on Tuesday the action was of a matter of deep concern and jeopardised a two-state solution.

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