US Markets

Big European powers "deeply concerned" over Israeli settlement plans

Credit: REUTERS/MOHAMAD TOROKMAN

France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain are deeply concerned about Israeli plans to build new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, the countries said in a joint statement on Friday.

Adds more quotes and background

PARIS, Oct 16 (Reuters) - France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain are deeply concerned about Israeli plans to build new settler homes in the occupied West Bank, the countries said in a joint statement on Friday.

Israel this week approved more than 1,300 new settler homes in the West Bank, bringing to a total of over 4,000 the number of such homes that are in the pipeline, according to an Israeli settlement watchdog.

"We are deeply concerned by the decision taken by the Israeli authorities to advance more than 4,900 settlement building units in the occupied West Bank," the joint statement said.

"The expansion of settlements violates international law and further imperils the viability of a two-state solution to bring about a just and lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," it said.

Most countries view settlements Israel has built in territory captured in the 1967 Middle East war as illegal and as an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. The United States and Israel dispute this.

The Palestinians hope to build part of a future state in the West Bank, while Israel cites historical and biblical links to the area and around 450,000 of its settlers live there, among 3 million Palestinians.

(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Christian Lowe; Editing by Toby Chopra)

((christian.lowe@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 49 49 52 07;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Latest Markets Videos

    Reuters

    Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest international multimedia news provider reaching more than one billion people every day. Reuters provides trusted business, financial, national, and international news to professionals via Thomson Reuters desktops, the world's media organizations, and directly to consumers at Reuters.com and via Reuters TV.

    Learn More