Eleven European Non-Governmental Organisations today strongly criticised Israel's publication of tenders to build nearly 1,300 new homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank as contrary to international law and further undermining the hopes of a two-state solution.
The announcement, which comes as the eyes of the world are focused on the election in the USA, follows the publication of a joint report by European development agencies and human rights organisations, Trading Away Peace, which exposed the scale of the EU's trade with settlements.
William Bell from Christian Aid said: "Settlements are illegal under international law and undermine the hopes of a peaceful two-state solution. Europe should speak with one voice in condemning this unilateral act of bad faith."
Chris Doyle, Director of the Council of Arab-British Understanding, commented: “Announcing the creation of more facts on the ground on the same day as the US election is a cynical move by the Israeli government that exposes their lack of commitment to the two-state solution and a sustainable peace.”
And Souhayr Belhassen, President of International Federation for Human Rights, declared: “More than 42 per cent of West Bank land and the majority of water and natural resources are already allocated to settlements. Settlements and their related infrastructure are carving up Palestinian communities into disconnected enclaves and having a devastating impact on Palestinians lives and livelihoods.”
List of signatories
CCFD - Terre Solidaire (France)
Christian Aid (UK and Ireland)
Church of Sweden (Sweden)
IKA Pax Christi (Netherlands)
International Federation for Human Rights (France)
Norwegian People's Aid (Norway)
United Civilians for Peace (Netherlands)