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Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs on settlement announcements in the West Bank

I am extremely disappointed at the announcement earlier this week by the Israeli authorities regarding a further 800 housing units within Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory is illegal under international law.

 

I continue to be very concerned about the tender for construction of a new settlement of over 1,200 housing units in Givat Hamatos. The expansion of settlements in this strategically sensitive area between Jerusalem and Bethlehem will undermine the viability and territorial contiguity of a future Palestinian State and the possibility of a negotiated two-state solution in line with internationally agreed parameters.

 

I reiterate my call on the Israeli Government to reverse this decision and to halt all settlement activity.  I urge all parties to respect international law and to avoid unilateral actions which erode trust and confidence - critical components to the resumption of meaningful negotiations - between the parties.

 

ENDS
Press Office
17 January 2021

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