Following her meeting with Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister for Interior, Silvan Shalom, FCO Minister Baroness Anelay said:
In my meeting today with Israeli Vice Prime Minister and Minister for the Interior, Silvan Shalom, I welcomed the strength of the UK-Israel relationship, but I also underlined that the expansion of settlements makes it increasingly difficult for Israel’s friends to defend it against accusations that it is not serious about peace.
I was clear with Vice Prime Minister Shalom that the UK condemns the Israeli Government’s decision of 29 July to progress 500 units in East Jerusalem and approve 300 further units in Beit El. As my colleague Mr Ellwood noted earlier this week, every settlement announcement has a negative impact on prospects for peace and a negotiated solution. The UK’s position on Israeli settlements, which I regularly set out in Parliament, is clear: they are illegal under international law.
Follow Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay on Twitter: @JoyceAnelay.