EU warns Israel over settlement construction

AP , Tuesday 17 Dec 2013

Ultra-Orthodox Jews walk through Ramat Shlomo, a religious Jewish settlement in an area of the occupied West Bank Israel annexed to Jerusalem (Photo: Reuters)

The European Union is warning Israel against any new West Bank settlement construction following an upcoming Palestinian prisoner release at the end of the month.

An EU spokesman says that if that happens and the current Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapse, the bloc will hold Israel responsible for the failure of the negotiations.

The negotiations have so far yielded no tangible results.

In the past months, Israel had announced new construction to offset prisoner releases carried out as part of a deal that brought Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

EU's acting spokesman in Israel, Eyal Inbar, said on Tuesday that Israel has been told it "risks having a finger pointed at it" if the talks collapse over new construction.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor declined comment.

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