The European Commission has urged Israel to halt “illegal” settlement activities, after the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the construction of about 800 housing units in the Israeli settlements in West Bank.

“The EU reiterates its call on Israel to halt all such demolitions, including of EU-funded structures, in particular in light of the humanitarian impact of the current coronavirus pandemic,” one of the Commission’s spokesperson, Peter Stano said in a statement on Thursday.

Stressing that the settlement activities are illegal under international law and they pose an obstacle in the peace process and in building trust, Stano called on Israel to focus on a vision of restarting the talks, instead. 

Israel’s move has been condemned by the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Ministry, which accused Israel of “racing against time” to build settlements before US President Donald Trump leaves office, as incoming President Joe Biden has indicated he will oppose to settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territories. 


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