07:21 GMT +316 January 2019
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    Israeli national flag flying next to an Israeli building site of new housing units in the Jewish settlement of Shilo in the occupied Palestinian West Bank.

    EU Considers Construction of New Israeli Settlements in West Bank Illegal

    © AFP 2018 / Ahmad Gharabli
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The European Union considers Israeli plans to build new settlements in the West Bank illegal, as the move undermines the possibility of the lasting peace between Israel and Palestine, the EU External Action Service (EEAS) said Thursday in a statement.

    "This week the Israeli authorities have advanced plans for over two thousand settlement units across the West Bank. The European Union's position on Israeli settlement construction and related activities is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace," the statement read.

    On Wednesday, the Israeli Defense Ministry approved plans for building nearly 2,200 housing units. The majority of the buildings will be constructed east of the West Bank security fence.

    On December 13, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would construct 82 new housing units after two Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed and two others injured in a shooting attack.

    For decades, Israel has been in conflict with the Palestinians, who have been seeking diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which are partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.

    READ MORE: Pro-Settlement Group Gives Airbnb Tour of Israel After West Bank Boycott

    In December 2016, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution, expressing concern over Israel's continuing settlement activities, which "imperiled the viability of the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines."

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    settlement, EU, West Bank, Israel
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