UNITED NATIONS ORGANISATION, December 20 (Itar-Tass) — European member-states of the U.N. Security Council, i.e. France, Germany, Portugal and Great Britain, demanded Israel stop the settlement activity on the occupied Palestinian territories.
In a joint statement, which was read out by British permanent representative to the U.N. Mark Lyall Grant, the European member-states described Israel’s actions as illegal and disastrous for all international efforts to resume the peace talks. They said in the statement that such actions undermined the settlement of the conflict. Israel’s security depends on implementing this goal, the statement says.
Israel’s settlement policy, including in East Jerusalem, is illegal and should be immediately stopped, Grant stressed.
On behalf of the four countries the British permanent representative to the U.N. voiced concern over Israel’s plans to step up the construction of the E1 strategic important zone, which linked the north and the south of the West Bank. According to Grant, the Israeli settlements in this area can divide East Jerusalem from other Palestinian enclaves that can lead to the forced migration of the civilian population.
The construction of the E1 zone was declared at the end of November. This week the Israeli authorities have said they allowed the construction of 1,500 new housing in Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem and 2,610 settlements in Givat HaMatos. On Wednesday, December 19, it was reported that additional 1,000 apartments and houses for Jews would be built in Givat-Zee’v and Har Homa, which were also situated beyond the Green Line.
Israel’s step was its reaction to the Palestinian Authority’s actions. The Palestinian Authority obtained the recognition of its observer status in the U.N. The status will allow Palestine to address the International Criminal Tribunal in The Hague and demand Israel free the occupied territories. According to experts, it will be difficult to achieve this goal if these territories are densely settled by citizens of the Jewish state.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned Israel’s actions and named them as the violation of international law. Israel’s actions hamper the Middle East settlement, the U.N. Secretary General stressed. He urged the warring parties to refrain from any provocations, which were capable of undermining the efforts in this direction.