BEIRUT

Middle East

Britain urges Israel to 'reverse' settlement expansion

  • Apartments are seen in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim near Jerusalem, in this June 7, 2012 file picture. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/Files

LONDON: Britain on Saturday urged Israel to reverse its decision to build 3,000 settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, saying the plans would undermine peace efforts.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was "extremely concerned" by the move, which came in response to a historic UN vote to recognise Palestine as a non-member observer state.

"The UK strongly advises the Israeli government to reverse this decision," Hague said in a statement.

"The window for a two-state solution is closing, and we need urgent efforts by the parties and by the international community to achieve a return to negotiations, not actions which will make that harder."

He added: "If implemented, these plans (for new settlements) would alter the situation on the ground on a scale that makes the two-state solution, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, increasingly difficult to achieve."

Britain abstained from Thursday's UN General Assembly vote, saying that it wanted the Palestinians to unconditionally agree to negotiations on a lasting two-state deal with Israel.

But the British statement on Saturday said that Hague had also advised Israel to "avoid reacting in a way that undermined these goals" for a swift return to peace talks.

 
Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus

Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here