PALESTINOW.COM – The German foreign minister has warned Israel against its ongoing settlement construction on occupied Palestinian land, saying the regime’s land grab could worsen the already-tense situation in the Middle East.
“We are concerned that unlimited construction of settlements will … make a two-state solution impossible and could increase the risks of conflicts in the Middle East, including possible war,” Sigmar Gabriel told reporters at a Thursday news conference at a G20 foreign ministers meeting.
Gabriel’s remarks came after the administration of US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday Washington would no longer insist on a “two-state solution” to the Israel-Palestine conflict, but would support whatever the two sides agree to.
The Trump administration’s apparent policy shift has been met with strong criticism from Palestinians and the international community, including the UN and the Arab League, which argue Washington should not drop its long-time support for the so-called two-state solution without proposing an “alternative.”
Gabriel further noted that a recent vote by the Israeli Knesset to legalize more settlements, which are illegal under international law, has further complicated the situation.
In recent years, relations between Israel and Germany have grown tense as Berlin questioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s commitment to a two-state solution with the Palestinians.
A general view of Ramat Shlomo settlement in East al-Quds Jerusalem on February 15, 2017 (Photo by AFP).
The last round of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians stalled in 2014.
One of the major sticking points in the negotiations was the Israeli regime’s settlement activities on occupied Palestinian lands, which are viewed by the international community as unlawful.
Tel Aviv has turned a blind eye to Resolution 2334 adopted by the United Nations Security last December, which condemned the establishment of settlements as a “flagrant violation under international law.”
Emboldened by the inauguration of Trump in January, the regime has approved the construction of some 6,000 settler units in the West Bank and Jerusalem al-Quds, which the Palestinians want as the capital of their future state.
Several Israeli ministers have recently been speaking of the annexation of Palestinian land, a move criticized by the world body. (PressTV)