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    EU States at UNSC View Israeli Settlements as Eroding Prospects for Peace - UK Envoy

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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The EU member states at the UN Security Council consider Israel’s settlements activities in the occupied Palestinian territories to be illegal under international law and undermining the possibility of establishing lasting peace, UK Ambassador to the United Nations Karen Pierce said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

    "Our position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace, as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334," Pierce said.

    Pierce, speaking on behalf of Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom, called on Israel to halt all settlement activities.

    "We also reiterate our concern about the calls for a possible annexation of areas in the West Bank," Pierce said.

    On Monday, Pompeo announced that the US would repudiate its previous legal opinion on the status of the settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The US will no longer adopt a position on the legality of those settlements, breaking with the Obama administration’s decision that they did violate international law.

    Since 1978, the Legal Adviser of the Department of State has regarded Israeli civilian settlements in the occupied territories as explicitly contravening the Fourth Geneva Convention. However, when President Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, he reversed that decision; Pompeo indicated Monday the US was returning to the Reagan-era position.

    UN Security Council, UK, envoy, Israel, EU
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