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The Israeli government's decisions on 30 March to establish a new settlement deep inside the West Bank, to issue tenders for almost 2,000 settlement units and to declare further land deep inside the West Bank as "state land" all threaten to further undermine prospects for a viable two-state solution, which remains the only realistic way to fulfill the aspirations of both sides and achieve just and lasting peace on the basis of a negotiated agreement between both parties.
The European Union reiterates that all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible. The European Union calls on Israel to end all settlement activity and to dismantle the outposts erected since March 2001 in line with prior obligations.
The European Union takes note of reports that Israel intends to restrict significantly future settlement construction in view of advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace. Affirmative steps are badly needed in order to reverse the negative trends that are imperilling the two state solution and thereby create a political climate conducive to resuming meaningful and credible negotiations. We expect declarations of intent to be followed by actions on the ground.
The European Union reaffirms its strong support for a just, sustainable and comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and peace and stability in the region, and will continue to work towards that end with both its Israeli and Palestinian counterparts, all other relevant stakeholders in the region - in particular in the framework of the Arab Peace Initiative, as we discussed at the recent Summit of the League of Arab States in Jordan - and with the rest of the international community.