EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday he was “appalled” that Israel had committed new funds to build “more illegal settlements” in the West Bank during the Israel-Hamas conflict, saying that the move had nothing to do with the Jewish state’s self-defence and security.
“I am appalled to learn that in the middle of a war, Israel commits new funds to build more illegal settlements. This has nothing to do with self-defence and will not make Israel safer,” Borrell said on X, formerly known as Twitter, in a now-deleted tweet.
He also called the building of settlements by Israel “a grave breach” of international humanitarian law.
Relations between Palestine and Israel have been hostile since the latter’s founding in 1948.
The Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition of their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli government refuses to recognise Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements in the occupied territories over the objections of the United Nations.
In September, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said the Israeli authorities had likely been planning a settlement expansion after advancing their plans for 6,300 housing units in Area C, which covers over 60 per cent of the West Bank, and approximately 3,580 housing units in East Jerusalem.