She said that negotiations remain the best way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Ashton calls on Israel to end settlement activities in and around East Jerusalem

31.05.2013 - 11:33

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy today stressed once again in a statement that Israeli settlements in and around East Jerusalem are illegal and called on the Israeli government to immediately end all settlement activities. A few weeks ago, Israel said that it is taking steps to approve four new settler outposts in the Occupied West Bank.

As High Representative Ashton stated: “Settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible. The EU has repeatedly urged the Government of Israel to immediately end all settlement activities in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, in line with its obligations under the Roadmap.”

She also added: “The EU has consistently maintained that negotiations remain the best way forward for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and it reiterates that it will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties.”

A few weeks ago, , the Israeli anti-settlement group Peace Now sent a petition to an Israeli Supreme Court and the government replied that it had taken steps to authorize four West Bank outposts that were built without official permission.

Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which Israel seized in the 1967 Middle East war, are considered to be illegal by the international community. Nevertheless, Israel fails to acknowledge this and makes a distinction between about 120 government-authorized settlements and dozens of outposts built by settlers without permission.

Some 500,000 Israelis live currently in the West Bank and East Jerusalem where about 2.7 million Palestinians reside.