The UK condemns the decision by the Jerusalem District Planning Board to give approval for a plan to build 1,500 housing units in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ramat Shlomo, and is extremely concerned by reports that the Board is considering giving the approval to a further 5000 housing units in East Jerusalem this week.
Commenting on yesterday’s announcement the Foreign Secretary William Hague said:
“Israeli settlements are illegal under international law, and I condemn this decision. It is deeply disappointing that despite the international community repeatedly raising our concerns, Israel continues to press ahead with plans to expand them. Settlements undermine the foundations of a two state solution and trust between the parties. This decision, which paves the way for the extension of settlements in East Jerusalem, constitutes a serious provocation and an obstacle to peace. If implemented, it would make a negotiated two-state solution, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, very difficult to achieve. We urge Israel to reverse this decision and take no further steps aimed at expanding or entrenching settlement activity”