EU to call on Israel to halt its settlement activities 15Sep10 September 17, 2010

IMEMC -  15 September 2010

During their Thursday meeting in Brussels, leaders of the European Union intend to call on the Israeli government to extend the temporary settlement freeze order so that the newly resumed direct peace talks can advance.

In Its statement, the EU said that settlements are illegal under the international law, and called on Israel not to resume its settlement activities in the occupied West bank.

The statement added that this issue is essential for constructive peace talks.
The EU also called on Israel and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank to refrain from any act that could obstruct the effort to resume the peace process.

Reuters reported that European Union leaders prepared a draft stating that it is crucial that both Israel and the Palestinians observe calm and refrain from any actions that could negatively affect the progress of peace talks that began this month.

The draft was presented as Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, were holding a meeting in Jerusalem.

Israel’s 10-month moratorium on settlement activities will expire at the end of this month; the United States, the European Union and other countries said that it is essential that the temporary freeze on settlement activities is renewed so that peace talks can be held without interruption.

But Netanyahu has announced that Israel will not renew the settlement freeze when it expires.

United States Middle East Envoy, George Mitchell, stated that progress was reached in this regards but did not provide any further details.

Israeli settlements in the occupied territories are illegal under the International Law and the Fourth Geneva Conventions.

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