EU condemns Israeli plans for settlement expansion in West Bank

Israel Materials 21 February 2009 18:43 (UTC +04:00)

The European Union condemns Israeli plans for settlement expansion in the West Bank, the Czech EU presidency said in a statement delivered on behalf of the 27-member bloc, dpa reported.

The EU called on Israel in the statement issued late Friday to reconsider plans for construction in the vicinity of the Adam settlement in the West Bank, as it would violate international law and Israel's commitments made to the Palestinians in the Annapolis peace talks.

The union said that expansion of the settlements "is a major obstacle to peace in the Middle East."

"Settlement activity undermines all the efforts of Arab partners committed to a peaceful resolution of the conflict and calls into question the seriousness of Israel's commitment to the two-state solution," the EU statement said.

The statement came as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas prepared to visit Prague on Monday. EU's foreign ministers are set to hold their regular meeting in Brussels on Monday.

Recent reports said Israel had decided to seize more Palestinian land in the West Bank in order to expand settlements. Abbas said talks with Israel were "meaningless" if settlement construction did not stop.