The European Union has said new settlements in East Jerusalem Al-Quds are illegal under international law and urged Israel to reconsider its plans.
“The presidency of the European Union is dismayed at the announcement of the Israeli government to build nearly 700 apartments in the occupied East Jerusalem Al-Quds,” said a statement issued on Monday from Sweden, which holds the EU presidency.
The Israeli Housing Ministry has sought bids for the construction of 692 new homes within Jewish settlements in annexed Arab East Jerusalem Al-Quds. Israel’s continued expansion of the settlements is one of the biggest obstacles to the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.
The plans to build about 700 new Jewish homes in areas of the occupied West Bank has even prompted strong US criticism.
The United States has said it opposes Jewish settlement construction on occupied land and has urged Israel and the Palestinians to resume the negotiations, which have been stalled for a year.
A spokesman for Palestinian Authority acting chief Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli plan, saying new construction on territory occupied by Israel since the 1967 Middle East war is illegal.
The Israeli Housing Ministry has invited contractors to bid for the construction of 198 housing units in Pisgat Zeev, 377 homes in Neve Yaakov, and 117 dwellings in Har Homa, settlements near Jerusalem Al-Quds.