LONDON, June 9, 2012 (WAFA) – British Foreign Secretary William Hague Friday said Israel’s action on the ground in the occupied West Bank is a breach of international law and makes it hard for its friend to defend it.
He condemned Israeli announcement to build 851 new housing units in illegal West Bank Jewish settlements saying relocating settlers from outposts to settlements sets a dangerous precedent.
“I condemn the announcement by Israel to authorize the building of 851 new settlement units across the West Bank,” he said in a statement published by his office.
“While we appreciate the Israeli Government’s efforts to avoid damaging legislation in the Israeli Knesset by voting against a bill to legalize West Bank outposts, the decision to move settlers from an illegal outpost by creating housing units in settlements elsewhere across the Green Line sets a dangerous precedent,” he added.
Hague said that “such outposts are illegal under both Israeli and international law and should be removed entirely.”
The British foreign secretary said “The British Government, and our EU partners, have made it consistently clear that settlement construction is illegal under international law, an obstacle to peace and should stop immediately - in line with Israel’s own commitment under the 2003 Roadmap.”
He said that “Continued systematic settlement activity, and repeated breaches by the Israeli Government of international law, is provocative, undermines the prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and makes the two-state solution ever harder to realize. It makes it increasingly difficult for Israel’s international friends to defend the Israeli Government’s actions.”
Hague urged Israel to change its approach and to meet its international obligations fully, calling Israelis and Palestinians “to engage constructively in the search for peace.”