May 25, 2023 08:13 UTC
  • EU envoy calls on Israel to reconsider illegal settlement plans in West Bank

A European Union representative has condemned the Israeli regime’s plans for the construction of nearly 600 new illegal settler units in the occupied West Bank, calling on Tel Aviv to reconsider the decision.

Sven Kuhn von Burgsdorff, the EU’s Ambassador to Palestine, made the remarks in a statement on Wednesday, during a visit by a delegation of 20 European ambassadors and consuls to the historical town of Sebastia, north of Nablus.

The EU diplomat said Sebastia is an occupied territory, adding that any action by the Israeli regime in this area is a violation of international law.

He also expressed the EU’s solidarity with the residents of Sebastia, emphasizing that it is the right of Palestinians to stay and live there.

Israel has approved a proposal to invest 29 million Israeli shekels ($8 million) to develop the Sebastia site to allow more settlers to reach the area and to decrease Palestinians access there.

Last week, the chief of the Israeli military’s Central Command also signed an order that allows Israelis to enter the illegal Homesh outpost in the northern part of the West Bank, paving the way for a formal settlement to be built there.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Von Burgsdorff denounced the occupying regime’s support for Israeli settlers to return to evacuated settlements in the northern West Bank.

“Legalizing the return of settlers to evacuated outposts in the northern West Bank is contrary to the decisions” of Israel’s so-called supreme court as well as the international law, he said, asserting that “all forms of settlements are illegal.”

The EU official further called on Israel to stop its acts of violence, prevent settler attacks, and protect Palestinians against those attacks.

Incidents of sabotage and violence by settlers against Palestinians and their property have become a daily occurrence throughout the Occupied Territories, particularly in the West Bank.