Ankara condemns Israeli settlement plan

Ankara condemns Israeli settlement plan

Israel’s new settlement plans despite repeated calls and warnings from the international community constitute the latest example of provocative steps taken by the country, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Dec. 19, “harshly condemning” Israel’s actions.

“We harshly condemn this manner of Israel, which deliberately damages the ground for a permanent and just peace in the region through illegal settlement activities that overstep international law,” the Foreign Ministry said in a written statement.

Israel aims at changing the historical, humanitarian, cultural and religious tissue of the Palestinian territories, particularly of east Jerusalem, the ministry said.

“We call on Israel to fulfill its responsibilities in line with international law for permanent peace in the Middle East and to put an end at once to its all activities that damage the grounds for peace,” it said, also calling on the international community to take necessary precautions in the face of Israel’s “unilateral and illegal activities,” which harm the prospects for a two-state solution.

“Turkey will continue to stand by the Palestinian people in the face of Israel’s implementations in violation of international law,” it concluded.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced plans to build thousands of homes in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in response to the U.N. General Assembly’s decision last month to upgrade the Palestinians’ status to a nonmember observer state. On Dec. 17, he said Israel would push forward with plans to build 1,500 apartments in east Jerusalem, the Palestinians’ hoped-for capital.