Three Major Western Powers Rebuke Israel’s Illegal Settlements Expansion

Israel is accelerating settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank. (Photo: via MEMO)

Australia, Canada and the UK have rebuked Israel over its decision to create thousands of new settlement units in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

In a highly unusual joint statement on Saturday, the foreign ministers of the three countries said they were “gravely concerned” over Israel moving ahead with over 5,700 new houses in the occupied territories.

All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

“The continued expansion of settlements is an obstacle to peace and negatively impacts efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution,” the statement read, calling for Israel to reverse the decision.

The ministers said they were also “deeply troubled” by ongoing violence in the region.

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They referred to a deadly gun attack by Palestinians near the illegal settlement of Eli in the West Bank.

At the same time, Australia, Canada, and the UK also condemned “the reprehensible and ongoing settler violence targeting Palestinians.”

Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country would authorize the construction of 1,000 new homes in Eli alone.

Later, Israeli authorities also announced that they were planning 5,700 other new units in the occupied West Bank.

The move triggered condemnation from the US, with a State Department spokesman describing the new dwellings as “an impediment to a negotiated two-state solution.”

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Israel occupied the West Bank during the 1967 Six-Day War and began to build new settlements in the territory.

The UN Security Council has declared those actions to have “no legal validity” and to constitute “a flagrant violation under international law.”

Under the government of Netanyahu, Israel has ramped up efforts to expand settlements, triggering an international uproar.

(RT, PC)

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