MOSCOW, January 13. /TASS/. Construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank cannot help broker peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website on Saturday.
"We think that this policy of Israel cannot help create conditions for a restart of direct talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, as solutions to all issues of the final status need to be found during them," the ministry said.
Moscow has confirmed its position on Israel’s illegal practice of settlement construction in the Palestinian territories, including East Jerusalem.
"Along with this, it is also evident that Israel’s ongoing settlement activity derails prospects for the two states’ solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict and diminishes chances for achieving a fair and lasting peace in the Middle East," the statement reads.
On January 11, Israel’s Peace Now (Shalom Achshav) movement said that the Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee, the military body that enforces Israeli policy in the West Bank, had approved plans for construction of 1,122 apartments and houses in 20 settlements and published bids for 651 housing units in the West Bank.
Continuous construction of Israeli settlements in the West Bank is believed to be one of the main obstacles in the path of the decades-long conflict. On 23 December 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2334 demanding that Israel immediately halt their settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories.
In response, Israel refused to implement the resolution. Last August, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed his country would continue building and developing settlements in the West Bank.