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EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell slammed Israel’s plan for settlement expansion. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Josep Borrell, the EU’s foreign policy chief, warns that Israel’s announcement to build 3,300 new settlement units in the occupied West Bank is “inflammatory and dangerous.”

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has criticized Israel’s announcement to expand settlements in the occupied West Bank, saying it constitutes “a grave breach of international law.”

The announcement by Israeli Minister (Bezalel) Smotrich to build 3,300 new units in illegal West Bank settlements is inflammatory and dangerous,” Borrell said on X on Saturday. 

He added, “Settlements make Israelis and Palestinians less safe, fuel tensions, obstruct peace efforts, and constitute a grave breach of international law.”

The announcement of new settlement plans by Israel’s finance minister Bezalel Smotrich, on Thursday, will reportedly put in motion the approval process for the establishment of 2,350 housing units in the Maaleh Adumim settlement, about 300 in the Kedar settlement, and 700 units in the Efrat settlement.

 The decision followed the shooting operation on Thursday near the Maale Adumim settlement, which resulted in the death of an Israeli soldier and the wounding of at least eight others. 

“The serious attack on Ma’ale Adumim must have a determined security response but also a settlement response,” Smotrich wrote on X. 

Estimates indicate about 700,000 Israeli settlers live in roughly 300 illegal settlements and outposts in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

If the settlement project is approved, it will be the largest settlement decision since the Israeli war on Gaza on October 7, according to reports.

US Disappointed in Plans

On Friday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US is “disappointed” with the settlement expansion, calling it “inconsistent with international law.”

The announcement is a reversal of the Trump administration’s position on the settlements that had overturned decades of US policy on the issue.  

“Our administration maintains firm opposition to settlement expansion,” Blinken said, adding that “In our judgment, this only weakens – doesn’t strengthen — Israel’s security.”

Tensions have been running high across the West Bank since Israel launched a deadly military offensive on the besieged Gaza Strip following the October 7 resistance operation. 

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 400 Palestinians have since been killed and 4,400 others injured by Israeli army fire in the occupied territory. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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