Several Western countries have expressed “deep concern” over the Israeli government’s announcement of legalization of settlements in the occupied West Bank following recent attacks by Palestinians.
Germany, the United States, Britain, France and Italy issued a joint statement on Tuesday condemning Israel’s decision to retroactively allow a number of Jewish settler settlements in the occupied West Bank and build thousands of new homes within existing settlements. of
The Israeli government earlier said it would legalize nine settlements in the occupied West Bank after Palestinian attacks in Jerusalem. Last Friday, a Palestinian killed three people with his car at a bus stop in East Jerusalem. Apart from this, seven people were killed and many injured in firing outside a place of worship.
The foreign ministers of the five Western countries said in a statement that they were “deeply concerned by the Israeli government’s announcement that it is moving forward with approximately 10,000 housing units and intends to begin the process of legalizing the nine outposts.” which were previously outlawed under Israeli law.”
“We strongly oppose these unilateral actions that will only serve to increase tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution,” the statement added.
Western countries reiterated their support for a “comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East” through direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
What did Pakistan say?
Pakistan has condemned the Israeli government’s decision to legalize illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank. “Pakistan strongly condemns Israel’s recent decision to legalize settlements in occupied Palestine in the West Bank. This is a clear and open violation of international law and relevant resolutions,” the Pakistani Foreign Office said in a statement on Tuesday. This further violates the rights of the Palestinian people.”
The statement added that “the illegal and unjust Israeli action will further aggravate the tense situation and harm the prospects for peace in the region.” The statement reiterated Pakistan’s full support for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian cause and urged the international community to prevent Israel from creating conditions that would hinder the two-state solution.
Israeli and Palestinian response to Western concerns
“Building nine new settlements is good but not enough. We want more settlements,” Israel’s National Security Minister Atmar Ben-Gover said on Tuesday. “The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel,” added Gower, a far-right politician.
Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Hussain Al-Sheikh has welcomed the joint statement of the Western countries. “We demand that words be translated into action, in the form of an international force of will that forces Israel to stop its aggression and its actions against the Palestinian people,” Hussein al-Sheikh tweeted.
Dispute over construction of settlements
The United Nations and the International Court of Justice have declared Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal under international law. The German government and several other Western countries have also condemned Israel’s settlement policies, which are against international law. The Israeli government says it does not recognize the unique legal circumstances surrounding the settlement.
Britain, France, Russia and China, four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, voted in favor of a resolution in 2016 that declared Israeli settlement measures “have no legal basis” and “contrary to international law”. “Clear Violation” The United States was absent from the voting on this resolution.
During a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in January, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blanken said, “Settlement expansion and the legalization of checkpoints are two examples of actions that make achieving a two-state solution difficult.” Currently, millions of Israelis live in settlements built in the occupied West Bank.
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