Following the recent decision of the Israeli authorities (4 and 6 July) to advance plans for 1,600 new settlement units in the illegal settlements in Pisgat Ze’ev, Ramat Shlomo and Ramot in East Jerusalem, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said:
I strongly condemn these plans, which are the latest example of an accelerating policy of illegal settlement expansion. I call on the Israeli authorities to reconsider plans to construct further settlement units in East Jerusalem in the coming days, including construction in Sheikh Jarrah involving the demolition of Palestinian homes and displacement of Palestinian residents.
While settlements are not the only obstacle to peace, these actions take us further away from a two-state solution and the shared vision of a safe and secure Israel living side-by-side with a viable, independent and contiguous Palestinian state.
As a strong friend of Israel, we urge the Israeli government to avoid steps that reduce the prospects for peace and security and make it harder to achieve a different relationship between Israel and the Arab world.