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UK consul 'horrified' by effects of settlements on Palestinians

Feb. 14, 2015 11:13 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 14, 2015 11:13 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- British Consul General Alastair McPhil on Wednesday said he was "horrified" by the effects of Jewish settlement construction on Palestinian communities in the West Bank.

The statement came during a visit to the villages of Turmsayyiah, Sinjil, Al Mghyyer, and Kusra where he met with local leaders and toured agricultural areas under threat of confiscation by Jewish settlers.

"I was horrified today to hear about the impact of settlements on Palestinian villages. Settler violence against Palestinian communities and property is unacceptable and must stop. Restrictions on access to land are hugely damaging to Palestinian farmers seeking to make a living," the official said in a statement.

"The UK's policy on settlements is clear: they are illegal under international humanitarian law, an obstacle to peace and take us further away from a two state solution."

"The UK is providing practical support to these communities to protect their land and property, and will continue to raise the issue of settlements with the Israeli authorities."

"Today I presented olive trees to the families we visited, as a symbol of our hope that they will be able to access their land in peace," he added.

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