Skip to main content

European countries call on Israel to reverse settlement plans

A joint statement from the foreign ministries of 12 European countries said the planned settlement expansion undermines prospects for peace.
Settlement

A dozen European countries on Thursday called on Israel to reverse plans to build thousands of new houses in the West Bank, in a joint statement that followed a strong rebuke of Israel’s actions from the Biden administration. 

On Wednesday, an Israeli Defense Ministry planning committee advanced plans for construction of some 3,000 settler homes in the occupied territory. The joint statement from the foreign ministries of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden said the move undermines prospects for a two-state solution.

“We urge the government of Israel to reverse its decision to advance plans for the construction of around 3,000 settlement units in the West Bank,” the statement said. “We reiterate our strong opposition to its policy of settlement expansion across the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

The Palestinians envision the Gaza Strip and West Bank as part of a future state, with East Jerusalem as its capital. More than 440,000 Jewish settlers currently live in the West Bank on territory captured by Israel in the 1967 war. 

Most of the international community views the settlements as a violation of international law that threaten the chances of a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

“We call on both parties to build on steps taken in recent months to improve cooperation and reduce tensions,” the European countries said. 

Israel’s move also drew condemnation from its closest ally. In a departure from the administration’s usual rhetoric, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said Tuesday that the US is “deeply concerned” by the first Jewish settlements approved since President Joe Biden took office. Price described the planned expansion as “completely inconsistent with efforts to lower tensions and to ensure calm.”

Last week, Price said Israel did not give the US advance notice before labeling six Palestinian civil society groups as terrorist organizations.  

“We believe respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and a strong civil society are critically important for responsible and responsive governance,” Price said.

Join hundreds of Middle East professionals with Al-Monitor PRO.

Business and policy professionals use PRO to monitor the regional economy and improve their reports, memos and presentations. Try it for free and cancel anytime.

Free

The Middle East's Best Newsletters

Join over 50,000 readers who access our journalists dedicated newsletters, covering the top political, security, business and tech issues across the region each week.
Delivered straight to your inbox.

Free

What's included:
Our Expertise

Free newsletters available:

  • The Takeaway & Week in Review
  • Middle East Minute (AM)
  • Daily Briefing (PM)
  • Business & Tech Briefing
  • Security Briefing
  • Gulf Briefing
  • Israel Briefing
  • Palestine Briefing
  • Turkey Briefing
  • Iraq Briefing
Expert

Premium Membership

Join the Middle East's most notable experts for premium memos, trend reports, live video Q&A, and intimate in-person events, each detailing exclusive insights on business and geopolitical trends shaping the region.

$25.00 / month
billed annually

Become Member Start with 1-week free trial

We also offer team plans. Please send an email to pro.support@al-monitor.com and we'll onboard your team.

What's included:
Our Expertise AI-driven

Memos - premium analytical writing: actionable insights on markets and geopolitics.

Live Video Q&A - Hear from our top journalists and regional experts.

Special Events - Intimate in-person events with business & political VIPs.

Trend Reports - Deep dive analysis on market updates.

All premium Industry Newsletters - Monitor the Middle East's most important industries. Prioritize your target industries for weekly review:

  • Capital Markets & Private Equity
  • Venture Capital & Startups
  • Green Energy
  • Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Development
  • Leading Edge Technology
  • Oil & Gas
  • Real Estate & Construction
  • Banking

Start your PRO membership today.

Join the Middle East's top business and policy professionals to access exclusive PRO insights today.

Join Al-Monitor PRO Start with 1-week free trial