On Friday, European powers condemned Israel’s decision to approve thousands of more settlements in occupied Palestinian territory, calling it a “counterproductive” move that undermines regional peace efforts.

Iran PressEurope: “The expansion of settlements violates international law and further imperils the viability of a two-state solution to bring about a just and lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” said a joint statement from the foreign ministers of Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain.

“As we have emphasized directly with the government of Israel, this step furthermore undermines efforts to rebuild trust between the parties to resume dialogue,” they said, urging an immediate halt in settlement construction.

This week, the Israeli regime approved the construction of more than 3,000 settler homes across the occupied West Bank, ending an eight-month lull in settlement expansion.

On Thursday, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell in a statement reacted to Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories as unilateral and illegal.

In recent days, Israel has announced a significant expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank, in areas in and around Jerusalem (al-Quds). These plans, which foresee the construction of close to 5,000 housing units, jeopardize a future Palestinian state's viability and territorial contiguity as the outcome of a negotiated two-state solution, in line with the internationally agreed parameters, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

Under international law, settlements are considered illegal. Palestinian officials and much of the international community consider them as the main obstacle to a viable two-state solution.

The latest approvals raised the number of settlement homes to be advanced this year to more than 12,150, according to Peace Now, the settlement watchdog group.

Stating on Thursday, the Palestinian Authority's foreign ministry condemned the plan's approval to build thousands of Israeli housing units in the Palestinian territories and called the Israeli cabinet's act a move aimed at the Palestinian political destruction issue.

Jordanian foreign ministry also called the continuation of Israeli settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories unilateral and illegal.

The Israeli regime's decision to continue constructing settlements comes after the UAE, and Bahrain governments claimed that the normalization of their relations with the Zionist regime would prevent the regime from further occupying the Palestinian territories.

The UN and most countries in the world consider the Israelis' settlement construction in the occupied Palestinian territories illegal.

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EU calls Israeli settlement construction as unilateral and illegal

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PA reacts to continuation of settlement construction in occupied lands