“The European Union reiterates its clear position that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the [so-called] two-state solution, and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334,” an unnamed EU spokesperson said on Thursday.
The official called on Israel “to fully comply with international law, end all settlement activity on occupied territories and related actions,” stressing that the 28-member political and economic bloc “will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem [al-Quds], other than those agreed by both sides.”
The EU spokesperson also denounced violent attacks being carried out by extremist Jewish settlers against the Palestinian civilian population in the occupied territories, Press TV reported.
“Violence by settlers on Palestinian civilians and their property has to be stopped and prevented,” the statement read.
The European Union then reiterated its support for the resumption of “a meaningful process” towards the so-called two-state solution, which it described as “the only realistic and viable way” to fulfill the aspirations of both sides.
Meanwhile, Germany has denounced the Israeli regime’s recent plans to build some 2,000 settler units in the occupied West Bank, stressing that settlements are illegal under international law.
“We have noted with great concern the Israeli authorities’ decisions to further expand settlements in the West Bank. The German government calls on those involved to refrain from taking any steps that would further hinder a peaceful resolution to the conflict in the Middle East,” a spokesman for the German Federal Foreign Office said in a statement.
The spokesperson added, “Like its partners in the European Union, the German Government regards the building of settlements in the Palestinian territories as illegal under international law and as a major obstacle to the possibility of a two-state solution to be negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Earlier this week, the anti-settlement monitoring group Peace Now said Israeli authorities had approved the construction of 1,950 new settler homes in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Peace Now said that nearly 800 housing units received the final approvals needed for construction to begin, while initial approvals were given for an additional 1,150 homes.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.
The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.
Less than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations Security Council in December 2016 adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
The last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement expansion on Palestinian territories.