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Israel and Palestine: West Bank

Volume 689: debated on Wednesday 31 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they have made any recent assessment of the expansion of illegal settlements by Israel in the West Bank. [HL1591]

We are concerned about the announcement of new housing units in Ma'aleh Adumim. We share the EU's concern noted in the 22 January General Affairs and External Relations Council about Israel's settlement activities in and around east Jerusalem as well as in the Jordan Valley and support the call for Israel to desist from any action that threatens the viability of an agreed two-state solution. The EU will not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders other than those agreed by both parties. Settlements are illegal under international law and settlement construction is an obstacle to peace. The road map is clear that Israel should freeze all settlement construction including the “natural growth” of existing settlements and dismantle all outposts built since 2001. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about settlement activity in the West Bank with Israeli Foreign Minister Livni on 2 January. Our ambassador in Tel Aviv raised our concerns about Ma'aleh Adumim with the Israeli Government on 17 January.