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European Union (EU)
25 July 2008
Statement by the Presidency of the Council of the European Union on the Construction of new Housing Units in Maskiot in the West Bank
The Presidency of the Council of the European Union strongly deplores reports of plans intended to authorise the construction of 20 homes in the Maskiot settlement in the West Bank.
The Presidency is deeply concerned by this news which comes a few days after the decision to authorise the expansion of the industrial zone in the Ariel settlement in the West Bank and the call for tenders to build more than 1800 housing units in the Har Homa and Pisgat Ze’ev settlements to the south and north of Jerusalem. This report, if confirmed by the government, will further serve to undermine the credibility of the ongoing diplomatic process and signal worrying indifference to repeated calls from the international community on this matter.
The Presidency of the Council of the European Union recalls that the construction of settlements anywhere in the Palestinian Territories, including in East Jerusalem, is illegal under international law. Settlement activities prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations and compromise the viability of a concerted two-state solution.
The Presidency therefore calls on Israel to honour the undertakings given at the Annapolis summit, under the Roadmap, with respect to a total freeze on settlement activity, including that for “natural growth”, in East Jerusalem as well, and to dismantle the unauthorised outposts built since 2001.
It is in this spirit, that the Presidency of the Council of the European Union urges the Israeli government to specifically abandon plans to begin building new homes in Maskiot.