UK condemns Israeli expansion in Jerusalem

According to the UK, the expansion of Israeli eastern Jerusalem neighborhoods undermines the possibility of a two-state solution.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

On Tuesday, the UK condemned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to expand the neighborhoods of Har Homa and Givat Hamatos in eastern Jerusalem because it undermines the possibility of a two-state solution.

“Settlement construction in these highly sensitive areas undermines the viability of a future Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem,” said James Cleverly, the UK Minister for the Middle East.

“The UK’s position on Israeli settlements is clear: they are illegal under international law and damaging to renewed efforts to launch peace negotiations. We urge Israel to reverse this decision immediately.”

On Saturday, Italy, Germany, and France all released statements condemning the expansion because it will end the hope for a two-state solution.

The Consulate General of Italy in Jerusalem said the “occupied territories are illegal under international law” and urged Israel to reconsider the decision.

The German Foreign Ministry said Israel must abandon the plans to build in those areas because it “would further separate occupied East Jerusalem from the West Bank and undermine the possibility of a Palestinian state.”

According to France, a two-state solution is the “only way” to achieve peace.

“It reaffirms that the two-state solution, with both states living in peace and security within secure, recognized borders and with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace in the region,” the French Foreign Ministry said.

“All forms of settlement activity are illegal under international law and challenge the two-state solution on the ground. France urges the Israeli authorities to reconsider these decisions and to refrain from any unilateral measures,” the ministry added.

Last week, Netanyahu approved 2,200 new housing permits in Har Homa and 4,000 in Givat Hamatos.