EU says two-state solution 'becoming impossible'
BRUSSELS - Israel's latest announcement of new settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories risks making a two-state solution impossible, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Wednesday.
Israel unveiled plans for 3,000 new homes for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, the fourth such announcement in the less than two weeks since US President Donald Trump took office.
The announcement "marks a very worrying trend, posing a direct challenge to the prospects of a viable two-state solution, which is increasingly difficult and risks becoming impossible," Mogherini warned in a statement.
The European Union "deeply regrets that Israel is proceeding with this, despite the continuous serious international concern and objections, which have been constantly raised at all levels," Mogherini said.
Settlements in both the West Bank and east Jerusalem are viewed as illegal under international law and major stumbling blocks to peace as they are built on land the Palestinians want for their own state.
Mogherini said continued settlement expansion "goes directly against" EU policy and the recommendations of the Quartet, which is made up of the EU, the United States, the United Nations and Russia.
"A negotiated two-state solution is the only way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties and to achieve enduring peace," she said.
Since Trump took office with top aides sympathetic to the settlement enterprise, the Israeli government has announced a string of new projects that will add more than 6,000 homes for Jewish settlers.