IP-Britain, Australia, and Canada have called on Israel's government to reverse a decision to approve new settlement units in the occupied West Bank, saying they are "deeply concerned" by an ongoing cycle of violence, the National News reported.

Iran PressMiddle East:  This week, Israeli regime approved more than 5,700 new settlement units in the West Bank, and earlier this month, it instituted changes to the settlement approval process to enable swifter approval of construction.

"The continued expansion of settlements is an obstacle to peace and negatively impacts efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution. We call on the Government of Israel to reverse these decisions," the foreign ministers of Britain, Australia, and Canada said in a joint statement.

Violence has been surging in the West Bank, including deadly clashes in Jenin, a fatal shooting by Palestinians near a Jewish settlement, attacks on Palestinian villages by rampaging settlers, and occasional use of Israeli air power against militants.

Most countries consider the settlements built on land captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war illegal. Their presence is one of the fundamental issues in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Palestinians seek to establish an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as their capital.


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