Russia has firmly objected to Israel’s plan to expand its illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
On Thursday Israel approved the construction of hundreds of new housing units for Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank.
The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Saturday saying that “Moscow reaffirms Russia’s principled position on the illegality of Israel’s settlement activities on the Palestinian territories, including in East Jerusalem”
Press TV reports: The statement said Israel’s announced plan for the construction of over 1,100 housing units in 20 West Bank settlements would further undermine international efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It said the expansion of settlements on lands designated as occupied by the international community would deprive Palestinians of their right to establish an independent state on the territories.
“We believe that Israel’s stance is not conducive to the creation of conditions for opening the direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians during which all the problems relating to the final status should be settled,” said the statement.
Israel captured the West Bank and the East Jerusalem al-Quds in the 1967 War and later occupied them. The regime has defied recurrent international calls for a halt to settlement activity in those areas, saying it does not recognize the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, as an independent state.
Even the United States, Israel’s closest ally, decided in the final days of former President Barack Obama in office to end its long and implicit support for the settlements in occupied territories and an American delegation abstained to vote against a United Nations resolution condemning the activity.
Israeli authorities announced on January 10 that in addition to the planned new units in the West Bank, some other projects on the Palestinian territories might be agreed upon in the near future.