The European Union has repeatedly urged the Israeli government to immediately end all settlement activities in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
In a statement on Wednesday, EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton expressed serious concern over the implications of the recent decision by the Israeli authorities to call for a tender for 130 additional housing units in the settlement of Har Homa across the Green Line in East Jerusalem.
Ashton had already expressed her profound disappointment concerning the Har Homa plan approved in August 2011. She reminded Israel that "settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible."
Israelis and the Palestinians are yet to resume direct negotiations since talks stalled in September 2010, after Israel refused to extend its freeze on settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Members of the Middle East Quartet - the diplomatic grouping consisting of the U.N., the European Union, Russia and the United States to facilitate peace talks - had urged both Israel and the Palestinians to avoid actions that undermine trust between them and expressed concern over unilateral and provocative actions by either party, including continued settlement activity.
by RTT Staff Writer
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