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EU seeking Israeli clarification on new settlement homes

Spokeswoman says body would ‘condemn such an ill-judged and ill-timed decision’ if the plans went ahead

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (photo credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko/File)
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (photo credit: AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko/File)

The EU said Monday it was seeking Israeli clarification of reports it planned to build another 1,000 homes in annexed East Jerusalem, voicing new concern about the peace process.

If the reports are confirmed, “it will call once again into serious question Israel’s commitment to a negotiated solution with the Palestinians,” a spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said.

The European Union could only “condemn such an ill-judged and ill-timed decision” if the plans went ahead, spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said.

“We stress that the future development of relations between the EU and Israel will depend on (its) engagement towards a lasting peace based on a two-state solution.”

Earlier this month, the EU condemned as “highly detrimental” similar Israeli plans for more than 2,600 homes in East Jerusalem’s Givat Hamatos neighborhood, calling for them to be reversed as a matter of urgency.

A Palestinian laborer works at a construction site in the Jewish West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim, near Jerusalem. Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Dan Balilty)
A Palestinian laborer works at a construction site in the Jewish West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, near Jerusalem, September 16, 2014. (photo credit: AP/Dan Balilty)

Reports Monday, citing an unnamed official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, said the Israeli government had approved plans for another 1,000 new Jewish homes.

The reports followed fresh outbreaks of violence in East Jerusalem, where Israeli police have clashed with Palestinian protesters for several days.

Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement, warned the move could spark an “explosion.”

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