The EU restated its decision for Israel to immediately halt its enlarging of settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, further indicating that any new changes to the pre-1967 borders not agreed upon by the parties will be rejected by the bloc.
According to a statement from the office of EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, “Settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between the parties.”
Emphasizing the EU rejection of the expansion of settlements, the statement said the EU will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including those pertaining to Jerusalem, that are not agreed upon by the parties.
The statement urged Israel to revoke the recent steps, which are totally incompatible with ongoing efforts to reduce tensions, and instead focus on furthering meaningful re-engagement between the conflicting parties.
The statement further added that, “The EU will continue to play its part supporting steps towards sustainable peace between Palestinians and Israelis.”
On Sunday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh called the plans “a blatant aggression towards Palestinian lands.”
In spite of international condemnations, Israel’s Higher Planning Council approved the construction of 3,144 settlement units in the West Bank on Wednesday.
Under international law, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is regarded as “occupied territory,” making all Jewish settlements there illegal.