Four EU countries including France, Germany, Italy, and Spain have expressed concern over the Israeli decision to construct new houses in East Jerusalem and demolish buildings in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, as well as called on the Jewish state to revise the move.
According to the joint statement of the countries’ foreign ministries, the Israeli activities pose a direct threat to the future of Palestine and violate international law. The four nations believe that this could become another obstacle for the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“We are deeply concerned at the decision to advance plans for the construction of hundreds of new housing units in East-Jerusalem, including between Givat HaMatos and Har Homa … We are also deeply concerned by the recent developments in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East-Jerusalem. We urge the Government of Israel to permanently halt eviction and demolition procedures of Palestinian structures in East Jerusalem, as well as in Area C, which contribute to fueling tensions on the ground,” the foreign ministries said in the joint statement.
The relations between Israel and Palestine have been shattered for decades. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and builds settlements in the occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.