Didier Reynders condemns announcement of new settlement in West Bank

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders firmly condemns the announcement, on 30 March, of the establishment of a new settlement deep inside the West Bank, on a hilled called 'Geulat Zion', north of Ramallah. This is the first new settlement in more than 25 years. Also, tenders for almost 2.000 units in existing settlements were issued and 97 hectares were transformed into 'state land'.

As the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini mentioned in her declaration on 31 March, all settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible.

There is no alternative to a negotiated solution based on the coexistence of two states. For these negotiations to be possible and still meaningful, this solution must be preserved. Belgium calls on the government of Israel to respect its international obligations, in particular resolution 2334 of the UN Security Council, and to put an end to its settlement policy and to the measures taken in this framework in the Occupied territory, as the construction of a separation barrier further than the 1967 line, the demolitions and confiscations, the expulsions and forced displacements and the restrictions on travel and access.

Belgium will not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders, with the exception of those that would be agreed upon by both parties.