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MFAT, Simon Coveney T.D. on Israeli settlement expansion

Minister Simon Coveney, Press Releases, Middle East and North Africa, 2008

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Simon Coveney T.D., has condemned recent decisions by the Israeli authorities advancing the expansion of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory. This week, the Israeli authorities approved plans for the construction of several thousand housing units in illegal Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territory in the West Bank, including in sensitive areas like East Jerusalem and the city of Hebron. This is the first time settlement construction has been approved in Hebron since 2002.

Speaking about these recent decisions, Minister Coveney said:

I condemn decisions this week by the Israeli authorities approving the construction of thousands of housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. This week’s announcements include construction in areas such as Hebron, which are far from the 1967 border, and which could never be included in any possible agreed land swap between the parties. The relentless expansion of settlements, especially in such sensitive areas, break up the land area on which a Palestinian state is to be established.

“I am also deeply concerned about announcements of construction in sensitive areas of East Jerusalem, and by the on going dispossession and eviction of Palestinian residents, to make way for illegal settlement activity.

“Such unilateral and provocative actions undermine the credibility of the Israeli authorities’ commitment to a peaceful, negotiated solution, something which is essential for Israel to secure its future, and for Palestinians to enjoy their full political rights.

“I call on Israel to reverse these decisions, which represent a serious threat to the two state solution to which Ireland, the EU, and the international community, are fully committed.”

 

ENDS

 

 

Notes for the Editors: