[action speaks louder than words] Israel urged by EU countries to stop construction in East Jerusalem

The Jewish settlement of Har Homa, opposite to Bethlehem (Photo file)

The National  /  Januari 20, 2022

Foreign ministries said new buildings would ‘constitute additional obstacle to two-state solution’.

France, Germany, Italy and Spain have urged Israeli authorities to stop the construction of new housing in East Jerusalem.

The foreign ministries of the European countries said in a statement the hundreds of new buildings would “constitute an additional obstacle to the two-state solution”.

The statement comes on the day Israeli forces carried out a predawn raid to evict Palestinians from their home, before demolishing the property in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

Earlier in the month, Israeli authorities approved plans for the construction of around 3,500 homes in East Jerusalem, nearly half of which are to be built in the controversial areas of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa.

They said building in this area would further disconnect the West Bank from East Jerusalem and that these settlements are a violation of international law.

The Israeli ministry of foreign affairs did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, including the Old City, in a 1967 war and later annexed it, a move not recognized internationally.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem for the capital of a state they seek in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, which shares a boundary with the city, and the Gaza Strip. Israel views the entire city as its indivisible capital.

Most world powers deem the Israeli settlements illegal for taking in territory where Palestinians seek statehood.