Norway deplores new settlements in the West Bank
Posted by African Press International on April 26, 2012
“Norway deplores the Israeli Government’s decision to recognise the status of three illegal outposts in the West Bank as settlements. The building and expansion of settlements on occupied land is a violation of international law and the most serious obstacle to a two-state solution,” said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
On Monday 23 April, the Israeli Government decided to legalise the three outposts Rehalim, Sansana og Bruchin as settlements. This means that these outposts will be three separate new settlements in the West Bank.
“This is the first time in more than 20 years that the Israeli Government has legalised outposts as settlements. I am concerned that this may be a shift in Israeli settlement policy that could set a precedent for other outposts. Expansion of the settlements in the West Bank damages the prospects of a two-state solution and undermines the international community’s efforts to get the parties to resume the peace negotiations.
It is very unfortunate that Israel continues to expand the settlements despite the fact that they are a violation of international law and despite the strong reactions from the international community over a number of years,” said Mr Støre.
“I urge the Israeli authorities to reverse their decision to recognise the status of these three outposts as settlements,” Foreign Minister Støre.