“The announcement of new settlements undermines the international community’s endeavours to promote a resumption of peace negotiations,” said Mr Støre.
On 4 April, the Israeli authorities announced tenders for the construction of 872 new housing units in the Har Homa settlement in East Jerusalem, 632 of which are to be built on an undeveloped ridge to the south and east of Har Homa.
“The expansion of the settlement is helping to form a ring around East Jerusalem and cut off Bethlehem. This development undermines the possibility of a two-state solution and thus the long-term security interests of the Israeli and Palestinian people.
“The Israeli authorities’ removal of the occupants from a house in Hebron on 4 April was a positive step. I urge the Israeli authorities to remove all illegal outposts throughout the West Bank, to stop announcing new expansions of settlements and to reverse previous decisions on expanding settlements,” said Mr Støre.