Russia on Friday strongly condemned Israel’s plans to build new settlements in the occupied West Bank.
At a news conference in Moscow, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Israel’s plans for new settlements “clearly” violate international law.
“The plans [for new settlements in the occupied West Bank] … clearly contradict the international legal basis for the Israeli-Palestinian settlement. Their implementation will make impossible the territorial continuity of this zone, which is an essential condition for the viability of a future Palestinian state,” she said.
Zakharova called the construction work on occupied Palestinian territory “one of the main obstacles” for relaunching direct Israeli-Palestinian talks and stressed that Israel’s actions have no legal basis.
“The establishment of settlements by Israel in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal force, and is a violation of international law,” she said.
“It is one of the main obstacles to the achievement of a Palestinian-Israeli settlement based on the two-state principle, as well as the establishment of a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.”
On Jan. 28, U.S. President Donald Trump unveiled the so-called “Deal of the Century” to end one of the longest-running disputes in the Middle East.
Under the plan, Trump proposed a patchwork Palestinian state boxed in by illegal Israeli settlements, as well as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank and Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided capital”.
The so-called peace plan has drawn widespread criticism as it unilaterally annuls previous UN resolutions on the Palestinian issue and suggests giving Israel almost everything it has demanded. Palestinians and the majority of the Muslim world have rejected the plan. Pakistan also supports Palestinian cause and does not recognize Israel.
Anadolu with additional inputs from GVS News Desk.