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The announcement by the Israeli government on 1 February to build an additional 3,000 settlement units, including units deep inside the West Bank, following the announcement on 24 January of the construction of 2,500 units and the approval of building permits for 566 settlement units in East Jerusalem on 22 January, marks a very worrying trend, posing a direct challenge to the prospects of a viable two-state solution, which is increasingly difficult and risks becoming impossible.
The European Union is strongly opposed to this policy and deeply regrets that Israel is proceeding with this, despite the continuous serious international concern and objections, which have been constantly raised at all levels.
Continued settlement expansion, illegal under international law as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334, goes directly against long-standing EU policy and the recommendations of the Quartet Report. A negotiated two-state solution is the only way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties and to achieve enduring peace.