Sunday

21st Oct 2018

Israeli settlement construction in East Jerusalem draws EU rebuke

Israel has announced the construction of some 700 apartments in East Jerusalem just a month after the Jewish state proclaimed a freeze on the building of new settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, drawing moderate criticism from the European Union.

On Monday (28 December), Israel's Construction and Housing Ministry opened tenders for the construction of 692 new flats in the neighbourhoods of Har Homa, Pisgat Zeev and Neve Yaakov - Arab land absorbed by Israel after the 1967 Six-Day War.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • East Jerusalem: Construction of some 700 new flats have been given a green light, despite an announced freeze in settlement building (Photo: laika slips the lead)

"Settlements on occupied land are illegal under international law," the Swedish EU presidency said in a statement.

"The Presidency of the European Union urges Israel to reconsider these plans as it prevents the creation of an atmosphere conducive to resuming negotiations on a two-state solution."

In November, defence minister Ehud Barak issued a freeze order, aiming to jump-start peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority, while at the same time permitting the construction of 28 new public buildings in the occupied territories. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu subsequently declared that settlement construction would resume at the end of a 10-month period.

Palestinian representatives also condemned Monday's move.

Nabil Abu Rudainah, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement: "Continuing the policy of settlements expansion is deliberate destruction of US and international efforts to achieve progress in the peace process."

"This policy affirms that the Israeli side is not serious in reaching a just and comprehensive permanent peace agreement based on the two-state solution."

For his part, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the opportunity to argue that now is the time to restart peace negotiations between the two sides.

"The time for excuses is over. Now is the time for action," he said ahead of a meeting in Egypt with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak scheduled for Friday.

Europe and Asia seek stable relations in troubled times

Covering two-third of the world's economic output and governing more than half of the world's population, the Europe and Asian leaders' summit in Brussels on Friday tests potentials for outlining a post-Trump world order.

EU looks at Morocco and Tunisia to offload migrants

EU member states and the European Commission are pressing ahead with plans to possibly use Morocco and Tunisia as countries to offload asylum seekers and migrants - part of larger bid to create a so-called "safe third country" list.

News in Brief

  1. Germany leads EU criticism of Saudi Arabia
  2. Huge pro-EU march takes place in London
  3. Macedonia MPs back name deal in initial vote
  4. EU to open trade talks with US on beef
  5. EU court orders Poland to suspend firing judges
  6. Japan to focus on circular economy at G20
  7. Italian budget 'significant deviation' from rules, says EU
  8. Podemos initiates debate on legalising marijuana in Spain

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. What Italy's budget row is actually about
  2. EU preparing 'concentration camps' for migrants in Africa
  3. Poland to respect EU injunction on judicial purge
  4. EU votes on Facebook and plastic This WEEK
  5. Top EU banks guilty of multi-billion tax fraud
  6. Polish left a glimmer of hope in fight against illiberal democracy
  7. Europe and Asia seek stable relations in troubled times
  8. Asylum reforms derailed, as EU looks to north Africa

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us