Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on plans to construct 1000 housing units in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. (20/12/2011)

Catherine Ashton, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, made the following statement today:

"I wish to express my strong disapproval of the Israeli authorities' announcement that they intend to publish tenders for the construction of some 1000 housing units in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem. I urge them not to proceed with this publication.

The EU's position is clear: settlement construction is illegal under international law and further complicates efforts to find a solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By ensuring the suspension of the publication of these tenders, the Israeli government can contribute positively to these efforts."