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European powers are ‘deeply concerned’ with Israel’s settlement plans

PARIS – France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain are deeply concerned about Israel’s plans to build new catapults in the occupied West Bank, countries said in a joint statement on Friday.

This week Israel approved more than 1,300 new homes of West Bank residents, bringing a total of more than 4,000 of the said houses to the pipeline, according to an Israeli settlement watchdog.

“We are deeply concerned about the decision taken by Israeli authorities to advance more than 4,900 settlement building units in the occupied West Bank,” the joint statement said.

“Expanding settlements violates international law and further undermines the viability of a two-state solution to bring about a just and lasting peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,”

; it said.

Most countries look at the settlements that Israel built on territory acquired during the 1967 Middle East war that was unlawful and an obstacle to peace with the Palestinians. The United States and Israel have argued this.

Palestinians expect to build part of a future state in the West Bank, while Israel cites historical and biblical links to the area and nearly 450,000 of its inhabitants live there, along with 3 million Palestinians.

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