The European Union's top diplomat has denounced Israel's plan to build more than 1,500 homes in Jewish settlements in east Jerusalem and the West Bank. She calls the move illegal and a potential obstacle to peace.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union's high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, says the EU "deplores" the Israeli plan and says it violates international law. Ashton said in a statement
Thursday that "any actions that could hamper or undermine the on-going negotiations must be avoided."
- US opposes building in east Jerusalem
- Israel pushes for more units in Ramat Shlomo
- Palestinians: Israel 'destroying peace process'
The construction plan, announced Wednesday, has also drawn angry condemnations from Palestinian officials, who accuse Israel of undermining newly relaunched peace efforts. UN chief Ban Ki-moon condemned the Israeli plan as well, and Washington said it would not create a "positive environment" for
The US State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki also responded to Israel's announcement and said: "We do not consider continued settlement activity or east Jerusalem construction to be steps that create a positive environment for the negotiations."
She noted that US Secretary of State John Kerry "has expressed his concerns and his issue with settlements and construction in east Jerusalem on many times in the past to Prime Minister Netanyahu, and I'm sure he will in the future, as well."
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