US is concerned by settlements

JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — The United States said Tuesday it was concerned by Israel’s decision to sanction three settler outposts in the West Bank, as world powers warned of the negative impact on the peace process with Palestinians.

An Israeli governmental committee earlier authorized the three outposts — Bruchin, Sansana and Rechelim — which were built on land Israel declared “state-owned” in the West Bank, an area it captured in the 1967 Middle East war and which Palestinians want as part of a future state.

“We don’t think this is helpful to the process. We don’t accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity,” US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

British Foreign Minister William Hague warned the move “sets a dangerous precedent for other outposts, which are illegal under both international and Israeli law.”

“By seeking to entrench illegal settlements in the West Bank, as this decision does, the Israeli government risks sending the message that it is not serious about its stated commitment to the goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

France’s Consulate in Jerusalem said the move “legalized three new settlements in the West Bank … (which) sends a very negative signal, contrary to the interests of peace in the region.”

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said earlier he was “deeply-troubled” by the decision, adding that it “runs contrary to Israel’s obligations under the Road Map and repeated Quartet calls for the parties to refrain from provocations.”

Source: Maan News