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European Union (EU)
4 February 1998
Text of a statement by the Presidency of the European Union on the
expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank
London, 4 February 1998
On 4 February 1998, in London, the following statement was made Mr. Derek Fatchett, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister, on the issue of the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank:
Expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank: Statement by Mr Fatchett
(Presidency Press Release of Thursday, 4 February1998)
I am disturbed to hear reports that the Israeli Interior Ministry has given final approval for the construction of 132 housing units for Jewish residents in the Ras Al-Amoud area of East Jerusalem. This development is particularly unhelpful at a time when the US and the international community are intensifying their efforts to achieve a breakthrough in the peace process.
I understand that Prime Minister Netanyahu's office have said that the Israeli Government will not allow this construction. We look to the Israeli Government to prevent it from going ahead.
The EU position on settlement building in the Occupied Territories is clear. It is both illegal under international law, and damaging to the peace process. At the General Affairs Council on 26 January, European leaders reiterated their view that, if we are to make progress in the negotiations, both sides must avoid unilateral actions which pre-empt final status talks, in particular on settlements and Jerusalem.
2. European Union Presidency Web site of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, via the Internet at <