November 21, 2019 / 5:24 PM / 24 days ago

Britain urges Israel to halt settlement expansion, in contrast to U.S.

FILE PHOTO: An aerial view shows the Israeli settlement of Beitar Illit in the occupied West Bank as seen in 2018 and obtained by Reuters from "Peace Now" on June 3, 2019. Peace Now/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY.

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain urged Israel to halt its “counterproductive” settlement expansion on Thursday, saying it was illegal under international law.

The Foreign Office reiterated its position on the settlements after the United States on Monday effectively backed Israel’s right to build Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank.

“The position of the UK on settlements is clear,” it said in a statement. “They are illegal under international law, present an obstacle to peace, and threaten the viability of a two-state solution. We urge Israel to halt its counterproductive settlement expansion.”

Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by William Schomberg

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