European Union condemns Israeli settlement construction

Ahram Online , Wednesday 28 Sep 2011

Catherine Ashton 'deplores' Israel's decision to resume its settlement construction, as the European Union calls on the Israeli government to reverse the decision

In response to Israel’s decision to approve the building of 1,100 new settlements in the city of Gilo, Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security policy and Vice President of the European Commission stated, “I therefore deplore today’s decision to advance settlement expansion in East Jerusalem.”

Ashton called on the Israeli authorities to reverse the plan and added, “the EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity, including natural growth, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001.”

The decision resulted in large scale international condemnation towards Israel’s decision to continue settlement activity, as Quartet called for both Israeli’s and Palestinians to resume negotiations and to refrain from “provocative action”, following the Palestinian statehood bid at the UN. Israel on Wednesday however stated that the project is not a “settlement”, nor an outpost, but rather a neighbourhood containing an integral part of central Jerusalem. 

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