Britain and US Condemn Israel’s Jewish Settlement Plan
Britain and the US have warned that Israel’s plans to build new housing settlements in the West Bank would damage the prospect of creating a two-state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians.
British foreign secretary, William Hague expressed “extreme concern” at the plan to create 3,000 new homes in the key strategic area of Palestinian territory would seriously undermine the Middle East peace process, and corrode Israel’s international reputation.
The Israeli announcement on Friday came a day after the UN recognised Palestine as a non-member observer state. Palestinians say that the proposed development would break the West Bank in two, thereby preventing any hope of a contiguous Palestinian state.
“I am extremely concerned by reports that the Israeli cabinet plans to approve the building of 3,000 new housing units in illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem,” Hague said. “Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and undermine trust between the parties. If implemented, these plans would alter the situation on the ground on a scale that makes the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, increasingly difficult to achieve.