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EU: 'Israel's policy of settlement expansion undermines two-state solution'

Nov. 25, 2018 10:59 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 25, 2018 12:17 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The European Union (EU) condemned, on Saturday, Israel’s demolition of around 20 Palestinian-owned structures in Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem, as well as the continued Israeli settlement expansion in the city.

Earlier this week, Israeli forces along with the Israeli Civil Administration staff and bulldozers stormed the Shufat refugee camp and carried out a demolition campaign, demolishing more than 20 Palestinian shops under the pretext that the shops were built without the difficult-to-obtain Israeli permit.
However, Israel rarely grants Palestinians permits to build in East Jerusalem, though the Jerusalem municipality has claimed that compared to the Jewish population, they receive a disproportionately low number of permit applications from Palestinian communities, which also see high approval ratings.

Maja Kocijancic, the spokesperson of the EU's High Representative Federica Mogherini, said in a statement, “The policy of settlement construction and expansion in East Jerusalem continues to undermine the possibility of a viable two-state solution, with Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, which is the only realistic way to achieve a just and lasting peace.”

Kocijancic also condemned Israel’s plans to build housing units in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Ramat Shlomo and Ramot.

Kocijancic stressed, “The European Union is strongly opposed to Israel’s settlement policy, illegal under international law, and actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions and demolitions.”

She added, “The EU expects the Israeli authorities to reconsider and reverse these decisions.”

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