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Israel's decision to declare 234 hectares near Jericho in Area C of the West Bank as state land is a further step that risks undermining the viability of a future Palestinian state and therefore calls into question Israel's commitment to a two-state solution. While this decision had already been announced on 25 January, it now appears that the land being seized has been considerably expanded. Any decision that could enable further settlement expansion, which is illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace, will only drive the parties to the conflict even further apart.
The European Union remains firmly opposed to Israel's settlement policy and actions taken in this context, including demolitions and confiscations, evictions, forced transfers or restrictions on movement and access, as stated in conclusions of the Council and repeated to the press on 6 February 2016.