German FM raps new Israeli settlement plans in E. Jersualem

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Oct 17, IRNA -- German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle, here on Monday voiced 'very strong' concern over Israeli plans to build hundreds of new settlements in occupied East Jersualem.

In a statement, Westerwelle stressed that Israel's decision to build 2600 new housing units in the settlement of Givat Hamatos ran 'against the spirit of the Middle East Quartet declaration and Israel's roadmap obligations.'

He said the proposed constructions in Givat Hamatos were of 'particular concern' as they would create facts on the ground by undermining the geographic contiguity between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Westerwelle warned the Israeli settlement initiative torpedoed western efforts to revive stalled peace talks.

The minister said halting settlement constructions in East Jerusalem would be a 'right signal.'

Earlier this month, German Chancellor Angela Merkel lashed out at Israel's settlement plans in occupied East Jerusalem, branding it 'provocative.'

In a phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Banjamin Netanyahu, Merkel made clear that the decision to build hundreds of new homes in East Jerusalem was not acceptable.

The chancellor who has repeatedly faced strong public criticism for her unwavering support of the Zionist regime, said reportedly Israel's latest settlement plans have triggered doubts whether the Jewish state was even interested in having peace with the Palestinian side.

Berlin has time and again called on Tel Aviv to end all settlement activity, saying it threatened a negotiated solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel's announcement to build more settlements in occupied East Jerusalem follows desperate last-ditch efforts by the US and the European Union to force Israelis and Palestinians to resume so-called peace negotiations.

Palestinians have reiterated such talks could not be jump-started unless the Zionist regime imposes a settlement building freeze in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 30616849

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