EU’s Ashton Concerned by New Israeli Settlement Plan

BRUSSELS, December 3, 2012 (WAFA) – European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton expressed concern over an Israeli plan to build 3000 new housing units in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank.

“I am extremely concerned by reports of the Israeli government’s announcement regarding the construction of approximately 3000 new housing units in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem,” said Ashton in a statement published Sunday.

“The European Union has repeatedly stated that all settlement construction is illegal under international law and constitutes an obstacle to peace.”

Ashton said that she had urged both Israelis and Palestinians to work towards the resumption of direct negotiations without delay or preconditions, calling “on all involved to pursue actions which could build confidence, not undermine it.”

She said that she was “extremely worried by the prospects of settlement expansion on such a scale.”

Ashton said that the reaction of the international community to this decision “is likely also to be influenced by the extent to which such expansion may represent a strategic step undermining the prospects of a contiguous and viable Palestine with Jerusalem as the shared capital of both it and Israel.”

Source: WAFA News