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Foreign Secretary condemns Israel’s settlement announcement

Foreign Secretary William Hague has condemned Israel’s announcement authorising new settlement units across the West Bank and urges the Israeli Government to change its approach.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Foreign Secretary William Hague said:

“I condemn the announcement by Israel to authorise the building of 851 new settlement units across the West Bank. While we appreciate the Israeli Government’s efforts to avoid damaging legislation in the Israeli Knesset by voting against a bill to legalise West Bank outposts, the decision to move settlers from an illegal outpost by creating housing units in settlements elsewhere across the Green Line sets a dangerous precedent. Such outposts are illegal under both Israeli and international law and should be removed entirely.

“The British Government, and our EU partners, have made it consistently clear that settlement construction is illegal under international law, an obstacle to peace and should stop immediately - in line with Israel’s own commitment under the 2003 Roadmap. Continued systematic settlement activity, and repeated breaches by the Israeli Government of international law, is provocative, undermines the prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and makes the two state solution ever harder to realise. It makes it increasingly difficult for Israel’s international friends to defend the Israeli Government’s actions.

“I urge the Israeli Government to change its approach, to meet its international obligations fully and for both sides to engage constructively in the search for peace.”

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Published 8 June 2012