British Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, condemned the Israeli authorities’ decision to build a further 323 [illegal] settlement units in East Jerusalem, said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in a press release issued Saturday.
“The UK condemns the Israeli authorities’ decision to issue tenders for a further 323 settlement units in East Jerusalem.” This follows recent development of plans for 770 new units in the Jerusalem suburbs.
“As set out in the Quartet report, settlement activity is counterproductive and undermines progress towards a two-state solution,” stressed the minister.
He noted that, ‘This announcement comes on the back of an alarming increase in demolitions of Palestinian houses throughout 2016, including in East Jerusalem’.
“These steps are the latest examples of what seems to be an acceleration of a systematic policy of illegal settlement expansion and demolition of Palestinian property.”
He said,”Along with our international partners, we call on Israel to halt all demolitions and settlement activities.”
On July 27th, the minister expressed his concern over Israel’s recent decision to advance plans for some 770 housing units in the settlement of Gilo, built on occupied Palestinian land in East Jerusalem,