European countries urge Israel to halt settlement expansion plans in West Bank

European countries urge Israel to halt settlement expansion plans in West Bank

Germany, along with 11 other European countries issued a joint statement on Thursday demanding that Israel halt its plans to expand settlements in occupied Palestinian territory.

The other countries are Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Finland, France, Ireland, Italy, Holland, Norway, Poland, and Sweden.

The  countries emphasised that Israel’s plans “violate international law and undercut efforts to make a two-state solution a reality.”

“We urge the Israeli government to rescind its decision to move forward with construction plans for approximately 3,000 new homes in West Bank settlements,” said the statement, issued by Spain’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

They urged all parties to abide by UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which declares Israel’s settlement activity a “flagrant violation” of international law with “no legal validity.”

Israel’s Higher Planning Council approved a decision to build 3,144 settlement units in the West Bank on Wednesday.

The United States has also harshly criticised Israel’s decision.

The US State Department expressed “deep concern” on Tuesday about Israel’s plans to advance new settlement homes, including many deep inside the West Bank.

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