U.N. Security Council’s E.U. members condemn Israeli construction plans


(JTA) — Four European members of the United Nations Security Council said Israel’s plans to build 3,000 homes in the West Bank endanger the two-state solution.

“The viability of the two-state solution is at stake and must be preserved,” Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Portugal said in a joint statement issued Thursday.

“We call on the Israeli government to rescind these plans and recall that we will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties,” the four nations stated in reference to Israel’s recently announced plans to build beyond the Green Line.

The plans were announced shortly after the Palestinian Authority’s Nov. 29 successful bid to receive recognition as a non-member state observer at the United Nations General Assembly. It included planning for construction in the E1 area that connects the West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem.

“France, Germany, Portugal and the United Kingdom are extremely concerned by and strongly oppose the plans by Israel to expand settlement construction in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, and in particular plans to develop the E1 area,” the statement read. “If implemented, these plans would jeopardize the possibility of a contiguous, sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian State and of Jerusalem as the future capital of both Israel and Palestine” and would “cut off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank and could  also entail the forced transfer of civilian population."

In a paragraph about construction plans in eastern Jerusalem, the four countries said: “We are also deeply disappointed by the December 17 announcement regarding the approval of 1,500 housing units in the East Jerusalem district of Ramat Shlomo and today’s announcement of 2,610 housing units in Givat Hamatos. We are also concerned about reports of an additional 1,000 housing units over the Green Line, including in Har Homa and Givat Ze’ev, being tendered.”

The same four countries issued a similar statement in December of last year.

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