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28 March 2017
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: K-000001/2017

Since the beginning of 2017, Israeli authorities have made a number of announcements that they would construct or advance plans for nearly 6,000 new settlements units.

The High Representative/Vice-President (HR/VP) had no prior knowledge of these announcements. In response, she communicated in a statement on 1 February 2017 that the EU is strongly opposed to the settlement expansion policy, which is considered to be illegal under international law as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334. This policy challenges the prospects of a viable two-state solution, and even risks making it impossible. The HR/VP also clarified that serious objections and concerns have been raised with the Israeli authorities at all levels.

On 7 February 2017, the HR/VP condemned the adoption of the ‘Regularization Law’ by the Israeli Knesset on 6 February 2017, a law which effectively authorises the confiscation of privately owned Palestinian land in occupied territory and the ‘</QT.START>legalisation’ of outposts. The HR/VP, in her statement, reiterated that the EU, in line with UN Security Council resolution 2334, considers Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal under international law, while condemning the recent announcements.

The HR/VP is strongly supportive of continued partnership of the EU and its Member States with the rest of the international community, particularly with the Quartet, which includes the United States, the United Nations and Russia, as well as with Arab states, in order to re-create momentum in the peace process. She has regular contacts with all these stakeholders to explain EU core positions.

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