Britain 'extremely concerned' about new Israeli settlements

14th March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Britain said Monday it was "extremely concerned" by Israel's approval of hundreds of new settler homes, saying they were illegal and undermined attempts to restart peace talks.

"We are extremely concerned by the government of Israel's approval of 400 new housing units in settlements in the West Bank," a Foreign Office spokesman said, responding to Israel's announcement on Sunday.

"We have consistently made clear, including at the UN with France and Germany, that settlements are illegal, an obstacle to peace and a threat to a two-state solution.

"Further steps to advance settlement construction are counterproductive and undermine peace at a time when all possible efforts have to be made to return to the negotiating table."

Israel said Sunday it had approved hundreds of new homes in Gush Etzion, Maale Adumim, Ariel and Kiryat Sefer.

The decision was taken just 24 hours after five Israelis, including three children, were murdered in their beds in the Itamar settlement near the northern city of Nablus in the West Bank.

© 2011 AFP

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