France censures Israel over new settlement plan
“If this decision is upheld, it would mark the creation of a new settlement in East Jerusalem (al-Quds) for the first time in more than 15 years,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement on Thursday.
He added, “This announcement directly threatens the two-state solution at a time when all efforts should be focused on peace.”
Israelis plan to build over 2,000 new illegal settler homes in the Givat Hamatos area of East al-Quds, Israeli activist group Peace Now said, describing the project as destructive to the Palestinian-Israeli talks.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that the Israeli move would send a “troubling message”.
More than half a million Israelis live in more than 120 settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank including East al-Quds in 1967.
The Israeli settlements are considered to be illegal by the United Nations and most countries because the territories were captured by Israel in a war in 1967 and are thus subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
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