The High Representative of the European Union Josep Borrell said in a statement that settlement expansion in Givat Hamatos is illegal under international law.
Borrell added: “I am deeply worried by the Israeli authorities’ decision to open the bidding process for the construction of housing units for an entirely new settlement at Givat Hamatos”.
This is a key location between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. Any settlement construction will cause serious damage to the prospects for a viable and contiguous Palestinian state and, more broadly, to the possibility of a negotiated two-state solution in line with the internationally agreed parameters and with Jerusalem as the future capital of two states, Borrell said.
The EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001. It remains the EU’s firm position that settlements are illegal under international law.
The announced settlement activity will lead to the continuing weakening of efforts to rebuild trust and confidence between the parties which is necessary for an eventual resumption of meaningful negotiations.
The Government of Israel should instead show vision and responsibility and reverse these negative decisions at this critical and sensitive time Borrell end his settlement.
European Union Heads of Mission and like-minded countries visit Giva’t Hamatos in East Jerusalem
Also, the European Union Heads of mission, together with like-minded countries, are visiting Givat Hamatos in East Jerusalem. Yesterday morning, the Israeli Ministry of Housing and Israel Land Authority opened the tender (bidding process) for 1,257 housing units to be built in Givat Hamatos in East Jerusalem
The construction in Givat Hamatos will block the possibility of territorial contiguity between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem.