Turkey says Israeli plan to build 800 settler homes ‘harmful’

Turkey says Israeli plan to build 800 settler homes ‘harmful’

Turkey has said Israeli plan to build more than 800 settler homes on occupied land is harmful to ongoing negotiation process in the aim to establish peace in the Middle East Today`s Zaman reported.

Israeli decision for more settlements was a move Palestinians said was aimed at venting Israeli anger toward a historic deal Western powers have struck with Iran over its nuclear program.

Lior Amihai, a spokesman for Israeli settler watch group Peace Now, said authorities first advanced the plans for 831 homes in five West Bank settlements earlier this month.

These plans were in addition to thousands of other settler homes Israel has announced since US-brokered peace negotiations with the Palestinians resumed in July after a three-year stalemate.

"Israeli decision on Nov. 25 to build 800 new homes in illegal settelemtns in occupied Palestinian territories is a step that damages the negotiation process in the path to build just, comprehensive and sustainable peace," Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said.

More than 500,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem alongside 2.5 million Palestinians. Israel cites historical and Biblical links to those areas.

Most countries, including Turkey, consider the settlements Israel has built on land it captured in the 1967 Middle East war to be illegal.

Ankara avoided condemning Israel and described the decision as in violation of the international law and the prospect of two-state solution. Turkey called on Israel to end this and similar policies and said it expected the international community to realize its responsibility against these violations.

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