Germany, Italy, Spain, and France’s foreign ministries urged Israeli authorities on Wednesday evening to halt the building of additional housing units in East Jerusalem.
Israeli officials authorized plans earlier this month for the construction of over 3,500 dwellings in occupied East Jerusalem, roughly half of which would be built in the contentious neighborhoods of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa.
The statement of the European countries said that the hundreds of new buildings would “present an additional impediment to the two-state solution,” alluding to international efforts to establish a Palestinian state.
They asserted that construction in this area will further sever the West Bank’s connection to East Jerusalem and that these settlements violate international law. The Israeli foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In the 1967 conflict, Israel took East Jerusalem, including the Old City, and later annexed it, a move that was not recognized internationally.
Palestinians demand East Jerusalem as the capital of a state they envision in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Most foreign powers consider Israeli settlements to be illegal since they encompass territory where Palestinians want independence. Additionally, the four countries raised alarm regarding evictions and demolitions in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah district, where residents claim they are being relocated.
Earlier Wednesday, Israeli authorities evicted a Palestinian family from their East Jerusalem home which they claim they had resided in for decades before demolishing it with a digger, drawing condemnation from rights campaigners and diplomats.