The governments of Australia, Canada, and the UK have expressed their disapproval of Israel’s decision to build an additional 5,700 settlement units in the occupied West Bank. They have also raised concerns about the escalating violence between Israelis and Palestinians.
In a joint statement released on Saturday, the foreign ministers of the three countries expressed their grave concern over Israel’s continued expansion of settlements in the West Bank. These settlements are widely regarded as illegal and are seen as an obstacle to achieving a negotiated two-state solution. The ministers called on Israel to reverse its decision on settlement construction.
The foreign ministers also expressed deep concern over the ongoing violence in the region, specifically referring to a recent gun attack by two Palestinians near the settlement of Eli in the West Bank. This attack resulted in the deaths of four people, including a teenage boy. The ministers condemned the reprehensible and ongoing settler violence targeting Palestinians.
Last month, in response to the Eli shooting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that his government would authorize the construction of 1,000 new homes in that town alone. This move was met with criticism from the international community, including the US, which described the new dwellings as an impediment to a negotiated two-state solution.
The Israeli occupation of the West Bank began during the 1967 Six-Day War, and since then, Israel has continued to build new settlements in the territory. The United Nations Security Council has declared these actions to be illegal and a flagrant violation under international law. However, Israel disputes this position.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu, Israel has significantly increased its efforts to expand settlements in the West Bank. This has sparked widespread international condemnation. Critics argue that these settlement policies undermine any potential for a resolution to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the establishment of two separate states.
The governments of Australia, Canada, and the UK join the international community in calling on Israel to halt its settlement expansion and to work towards a peaceful resolution in the region. They emphasize the importance of a negotiated two-state solution that respects the rights and aspirations of both Israelis and Palestinians.
As the violence escalates and settlement construction continues, the prospect of peace seems dimmer. It is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize dialogue and diplomacy in order to achieve a lasting and just resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.