Turkey condemns Israel’s settlement expansion plans
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
In this Monday, Sept. 7, 2009 file photo, an Israeli flag is seen in front of the West Bank Jewish settlement of Maaleh Adumim on the outskirts of Jerusalem. AP PhotoTurkey condemned Israel’s decision to expand its settlements further inside occupied East Jerusalem.
In a statement released Dec. 25, the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Israel’s illegal settlement activities in occupied Palestinian land and its recent decision “to approve the construction of 380 new settlements in East Jerusalem … despite warnings from the international community.”
An Israeli building committee approved the construction of 380 new Jewish-only settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem on Dec. 24, of which 307 houses would be built in the Ramot settlement and 73 in the Har Homa settlement, the Jerusalem Post newspaper reported.
According to the newspaper, the new housing units were part of a large-scale project approved in August 2011 to build some 1,000 settlement units in the area, for which building tenders were issued in April 2012.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967. It later annexed the historic city in 1980, claiming it as the capital of the self-proclaimed Jewish state, a move that was never recognized by the international community.
International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlements on the land to be illegal.
“These steps, which damage the foundation of the two-state solution and aim to create a de facto situation in occupied Jerusalem, are in violation of international law and unacceptable,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in the statement.