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It contributes to the establishment of a ring of Israeli settlements around the city, thus further cutting East Jerusalem off from the southern West Bank.
This announcement comes just weeks after the report of the Middle East Quartet called on Israel to abandon its settlement policy, which is illegal under international law. The decision raises legitimate questions about Israel's long-term intentions, which are compounded by the statements of some Israeli ministers that there should never be a Palestinian state. The EU calls on Israel to reverse this decision and to cease its settlement activity.