Friday, 7 November 2014

EU official: Israel has ignored pleas to stop settlement construction

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The EU's new foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, strongly condemned on Wednesday Israel's continued settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Mogherini particularly condemned the construction of 500 new settlement units in the illegal settlement of Ramat Shlomo in occupied Jerusalem.

Israeli media quoted her as saying, in a statement, that the construction in Ramat Shlomo is "jeopardising on-going efforts to resume a diplomatic process".

She added: "This decision [to construct more settlements] represents yet another highly detrimental step, which undermines the prospects for a two-state solution and seriously calls into question Israel's commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians."

Mogherini visited Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories on Friday.

She said that the EU is focusing on reconstructing the Gaza Strip, but Israeli settlements are undermining the political process and thus negatively impacting these reconstruction efforts.

"Pleas by the EU and other members of the international community to end the construction of settlements have remained ignored," Mogherini said.

"I call on the Israeli authorities to reverse [the plans] and put an end to its settlement policy in East Jerusalem and in the West Bank."

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