European powers, Jordan condemn Israel settlement approvals

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European powers on Friday condemned Israel’s decision to approve thousands more settlement homes in the West Bank, calling it a “counterproductive” move that undermines regional peace efforts.

Jordan, meanwhile, said the move violated international law and called for global pressure to prevent construction.

A joint statement from the foreign ministers of Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain said: “The expansion of settlements violates international law and further imperils the viability of a two-state solution to bring about a just and lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“As we have emphasized directly with the government of Israel, this step furthermore undermines efforts to rebuild trust between the parties with a view to resuming dialogue,” they said, urging an immediate halt in settlement construction.

The ministers said pushing ahead with more settlements would be a “counterproductive move in light of the positive developments of normalization agreements reached between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.”

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi called the decision “a violation of international law… illegitimate steps that undermine the two-state solution and the chances of achieving a comprehensive peace.

“A clear international position to reject these [homes] and put pressure to block them is necessary to protect peace and protect international law,” al-Safadi said.

Israel agreed to suspend plans to annex swaths of the West Bank under the US peace plan in exchange for the normalization deals with the Gulf states