Madrid has warned that, if continued at the current rate, the Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian lands would bring about the annexation of the entire occupied territories.
Spain’s Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos cautioned that the advancement would claim the entire Palestinian territories in the West Bank, should the current rate of acquisition survive for another two years, AFP reported on Saturday.
"Until now, it’s not too late, but if we wait for more than two years it will be too late," he said.
The comments came after the Israel interior ministry approved the construction of 1,600 housing units for Jewish settlers in Jerusalem (al-Quds).
Tel Aviv has been denounced for seeking insidious annexation of the territories under the guise of refurbishing the Jewish residences, resettling the Arab dwellers and promoting tourism among other "self-serving" excuses.
Israeli authorities refuse to meet the Palestinian condition for recommencement of the Middle East peace talks by enforcing a permanent and complete freeze on the expansion.
The resulting long-standing standoff in the negotiations was compounded by Israel’s December 2008-January 2009 offensives against the Gaza Strip, which claimed the lives of more than 1,400 Palestinians.
Also on Saturday, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged prompt formation of an Arab-Israeli peace settlement. "We need a negotiated peace settlement, it needs to happen quickly and now," she said.