Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on settlement expansion in East Jerusalem (08/08/2011)

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Commission Vice President issued the following statement today:

"I have been following the situation in East Jerusalem with concern and I am profoundly disappointed by yesterday’s approval of more than 900 housing units in the settlement of Har Homa in East Jerusalem. The EU has repeatedly urged the Government of Israel to immediately end all
settlement activities in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. All settlement activities are illegal under international law.

This further expansion of settlements is particularly regrettable at a time when the EU, together with its international partners and the parties, is striving to create a credible perspective to relaunch negotiations, leading to a just and durable solution to the conflict.

Continued settlement
activity undermines trust between the parties and efforts to resume negotiations. This is especially true with regard to Jerusalem."