London calls for immediate halt to settlement construction in West Bank


Published: 2021-01-18 18:57

Last Updated: 2021-03-01 15:16

Editor: Priyanka Navani

Photo: Al Jazeera
Photo: Al Jazeera

A UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office spokesperson said Monday that the country is ‘seriously concerned’ about the sharp uptick of illegal Israeli Occupation settlements being constructed in the West Bank, and insisted building ‘cease immediately.’

The Israeli Occupation Sunday approved plans to build 780 new settlement units in the West Bank, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the plans earlier in the week.

It is widely thought that Netanyahu is capitalizing on the last days of the pass he was given under the Trump administration to enact policy that violates international law and is otherwise heavily criticized. 

During Trump’s presidency, settlement construction activity increased nearly 250 percent from 2012-2016. His administration also pushed for Israeli Occupation settlement products to be labeled ‘Made in Israel.’

European policy ensures such products are labeled as ‘made in settlements.’

In 2020, Israeli Occupation human rights organization B'Tselem reported 248 incidents of settler violence against Palestinians. 

Many countries, including Jordan, have joined the UK in denouncing the construction.

In a joint statement with French, German, and Egyptian foreign ministers, FM Ayman Safadi said that settlements are a roadblock to a future two-state solution.

He called for the Israeli Occupation to ‘immediately and completely cease all settlement activities.’

There are currently half a million Israeli Occupation settlers living in the West Bank.

Also read: Arab, European foreign ministers discuss Palestinian, Israeli Occupation peace process in Cairo