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United Kingdom : UK deplores Israeli government decision to expropriate land in West Bank.

UK deplores Israeli decision to expropriate land near Bethlehem and urges Israel to reverse the decision.

Commenting on Israel s decision on 31 August to expropriate almost 990 acres of privately owned Palestinian land near Bethlehem, the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said:

The UK deplores the Israeli government s expropriation of 988 acres of land around the settlement of Etzion near Bethlehem. This is a particularly ill-judged decision that comes at a time when the priority must be to build on the ceasefire in Gaza. It will do serious damage to Israel s standing in the international community.

Our position on settlements is clear: they are illegal under international law, present an obstacle to peace and take us further away from a two state solution at a time when negotiations to achieve this objective urgently need to be resumed.

All efforts should currently be focused on securing a durable ceasefire in Gaza and the lasting peace that the Palestinian and Israeli people deserve. We strongly urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision.

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Publication:Mena Report
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Sep 2, 2014
Words:186
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