Heads of Mission and representatives from the EU, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, and Norway and Switzerland visited today the designated location for Givat Hamatos settlement. The visit came after the Israeli authorities’ announcement of the bidding procedure for 1257 units in this new settlement.
The diplomats urgently convened to overlook the site for the planned new settlement in the occupied West Bank, where they were briefed by representatives from civil society organisations and discussed the repercussions of the Israeli authorities' decision.
“The Israeli announcement of opening the bidding for Givat Hamatos, situated between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, is of great concern to the EU and likeminded countries. It forms part of a worrying trend where Israel continues its policy of advancing settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory. said the European Union Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff.”If Israel is to go ahead with its plans for a settlement here, it would cause serious damage to the prospects for a viable and contiguous Palestinian State. More broadly, it will threaten the viability of a negotiated two-state solution, in line with the internationally agreed parameters and with Jerusalem as the future capital of two states. we are also here today to reiterate our firm position that settlements are illegal under international law, and that all settlement activity must stop", he added.
This Israeli new announcement follows one month after the approval by the Israeli Higher Planning Council (HPC) under the Civil Administration of the advancement of 4 948 housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The EU has repeatedly called on Israel to end all settlement activity, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001.