Britain slams Israeli settlement approvals

London is lashing Israel over its approval of some 2,300 settlement homes earlier this week, saying it “promotes the effective annexation of the West Bank.”

Conservative lawmaker Dominic Raab arrives at 10 Downing Street, London, July 24, 2019 (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

“We urge Israel to halt its settlement expansion, which is contrary to international law,” new Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says according to a statement from the Foreign Office.

It also urges more building permits for Palestinians in Israel-controlled Area C of the West Bank and expresses “serious concern” over Israel’s demolition of homes abutting the security barrier in East Jerusalem last month.

Construction work in the Dagan neighborhood of the settlement of Efrat, in the West Bank on July 22, 2019. (Gershon Elinson/Flash90)

The statement comes after the EU said Tuesday that Israeli settlement expansion “erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace.”

Israel on Monday and Tuesday approved plans for 2,304 homes in the West Bank, many of them in isolated areas far beyond the settlement blocs Israel hopes to keep in a final status deal.

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