Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton at his office in Jerusalem, on June 20, 2013
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton at his office in Jerusalem, on June 20, 2013 © Abir Sultan - POOL/AFP
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton at his office in Jerusalem, on June 20, 2013
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AFP
Last updated: November 7, 2013

EU deplores latest Israeli settlement plan

The European Union said Thursday it deplored the latest Israeli decision to build new settler homes in east Jerusalem and the West Bank and that it should be reversed.

The move announced Sunday to build some 1,859 homes threatens the Israel-Palestinian peace process, EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said.

"The EU has repeatedly stated that settlements are illegal under international law and that bold and decisive leadership is needed for the current peace negotiations to succeed," Ashton said in a statement.

"The EU deplores the latest settlement announcement and calls on the Israeli government to reverse its decision.

"Any actions that could hamper or undermine the ongoing negotiations must be avoided," she added.

The building of new settlements on occupied Palestinian land is a key sticking point in the peace talks which were only revived with great difficulty by US Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this year.

A bitter row has erupted over Israeli moves during the past week to push ahead with construction of a total of more than 3,700 new settler homes.

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