Turkey’s Foreign Ministry on Friday rejected the Israeli government’s recent approval of a plan to build new illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and retroactively legalize two settlements.
In a statement, the Ministry criticized the approval of 25 projects involving the construction of 4,427 new housing units and the legalization of the Mitzpeh Dani and Oz Vagon settlements, considered illegal even under Israeli law.
The Ministry described the decision as “unilateral” and warned that it will increase tensions in the region, damaging the foundations for lasting peace.
Likewise, the Ministry urged Israel to put an end to these actions, which violate international law and the parameters established by the UN, and endanger the process of a two-state solution.
The Ministry explained that Turkey hopes that the incident that caused the death of the correspondent of the Al Jazeera channel, Shireen Abu Akleh, and left another reporter injured in the Palestinian city of Jenin, this Wednesday, will be clarified through an open investigation, impartial and thorough and that those responsible be brought to justice as soon as possible.
For their part, France, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden urged Israel to stop its new plan to build more settlements.
“We are deeply concerned about the decision of the Higher Planning Council of Israel to advance plans for the construction of more than 4,000 homes in the West Bank,” said spokesmen for the foreign ministries of European countries in a joint statement.
See also: Palestinians bury Shireen Abu Akleh in East Jerusalem, amid aggression by Israeli forces
The countries further urged “the Israeli authorities to reverse this decision” and noted that “the new housing units would constitute an additional obstacle to the Two-State Solution.”
The statement said that Israeli settlements “violate international law and stand in the way of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”
“This decision, as well as the demolitions and evictions affecting Palestinian populations in East Jerusalem and Area C, directly threaten the viability of a future Palestinian state,” he added.
The EU nations also urged Israel “not to proceed with planned demolitions or evictions, especially in Masafer Yatta.”
Likewise, the UK Foreign Ministry announced that it is concerned about Israel’s decision and recalled that its position recognizes settlements as “illegal under international law.”
*Translated by Daniel Gallego.
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