Britain Condemns Israeli Settlement Expansion

LONDON, December 19, 2012 (WAFA) – The United Kingdom condemned Tuesday Israeli plans to build 1,500 new housing units in an illegal settlement built in occupied East Jerusalem, according to a statement by the British foreign office.

It expressed extreme concern following reports that the West Jerusalem District Planning Board is considering giving the approval to a further 5000 housing units in East Jerusalem settlements this week.

Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the settlement expansion plans stressing that “Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.”

He said the UK was “deeply disappointed by Israel persistence to commence plans to expand the illegal settlements despite of the international community repeatedly raising concerns.”

Hague said the settlements undermine the foundations of a two state solution and trust between the parties.

“This decision, which paves the way for the extension of settlements in East Jerusalem, constitutes a serious provocation and an obstacle to peace,” he said.

Hague said that if the construction was to be implemented, it would make a negotiated two-state solution, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, very difficult to achieve.

The UK urged Israel to reverse its decision and take no further steps to expand or entrench settlement activities.

Source: WAFA News