October 18, 2017 / 12:34 PM / 2 years ago

EU calls on Israel to stop plans for new West Bank settlements

Heavy machinery work on a field as they begin construction work of Amichai, a new settlement which will house some 300 Jewish settlers evicted in February from the illegal West Bank settlement of Amona, in the West Bank June 20, 2017. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Israel must halt new building plans for settler homes in the West Bank, the European Union’s foreign service said in a statement on Wednesday, warning that such settlements threatened any future peace deal with the Palestinians.

“The European Union has requested clarifications from Israeli authorities and conveyed the expectation that they reconsider these decisions, which are detrimental to on-going efforts towards meaningful peace talks,” the statement said.

“All settlement activity is illegal under international law, and it undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospect for a lasting peace.”

The EU maintains that the lands Israel has occupied since the 1967 Middle East war - including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights - are not part of the internationally recognized borders of Israel.

Reporting by Robin Emmott; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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