Russia has expressed concern over a recent Israeli decision to legalize three settlement outposts in the occupied West Bank.
Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Thursday, saying Moscow is “treating this information with serious concern.”
On April 24, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Tel Aviv has legalized the status of three settlement outposts in the occupied Palestinian territory.
Netanyahu’s office announced the legalization of the outposts of Bruchin and Rechelim in northern West Bank, and Sansana in the southern part of the occupied Palestinian territory.
The Russian foreign ministry also stated that the Israeli move “affects the chances” of talks between the Palestinian and Israeli sides.
The European Union also voiced concern about the recent decision made by Israel.
EU Foreign Policy chief Catherine Ashton said Wednesday, “I am extremely concerned about the decision of the Israeli authorities regarding the status of the settlements of Sansana, Rechelim and Bruchin in the occupied Palestinian territory.”
In addition to Russia and the EU, the Palestinian Authority has also strongly condemned the latest Israeli decision.
Chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat said Tuesday that “every single settlement built on Palestinian land is illegal.”
Israel considers settler outposts, which are newer and smaller Israeli settlements built without authorization from Tel Aviv, to be illegal.
The international community, however, regards all the Israeli settlements across the West Bank illegal under international law, whether authorized by Tel Aviv or not.
On February 22, Israel approved construction of 500 new illegal units in the West Bank settlement of Shilo and also legalized more than 200 homes built in the West Bank without permits from Tel Aviv.
About 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem and the number of the settlers is increasing.