Spokesmen for the Foreign Ministries of Spain, Germany, France and Italy issued a joint statement yesterday expressing “deep concern” over the Israeli authorities’ decision to build several hundred new housing units in East Jerusalem, including in the area between the settlements of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa.
The communiqué considers that “new housing would further disconnect the West Bank from East Jerusalem and pose an additional obstacle to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. The four countries therefore urge the Israeli authorities to reverse the decision.
“This decision represents a direct threat to the viability of a future Palestinian state. They reiterate: “Israeli settlements constitute a flagrant violation of international law and stand in the way of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
They also say they are “deeply concerned about recent developments in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah”, which lead them to urge the Israeli government to “permanently halt the eviction and demolition procedures in East Jerusalem, as well as in Area C, which contribute to fuelling tensions in the area”.