European Union Higher Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, stated that she is ‘extremely concerned” by Israel’s new plan to build 1,300 units for Jewish settlers in occupied East Jerusalem.1,300 units are planned to be built in occupied East Jerusalem, including 320 units in the Ramot settlement.

Ashton stated that this plan contradicts and jeopardizes all international efforts to resume direct Palestinian-Israel peace talks, and called on Israel to void its decision.

“This decision should be reversed”, Ashton said, and added that settlements are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to the two-state solution.

She stated that unless agreed by all parties, the European Union will not recognize any changes conducted in the pre-1967 borders, including in occupied East Jerusalem.

Ashton further stated that all final status issues must be discussed and resolved during negotiations, this includes Jerusalem and its status at the capital of the two states.

She urged all parties to engage in acts that create a positive atmosphere that advances the chances of resuming peace talks.

U.S. President, Barack Obama, stated during his visit to Indonesia that such settlement activities are not helpful especially amidst efforts to resume peace talks.

There are nearly 500,000 Israeli settlers living in the occupied territories, including in occupied East Jerusalem.

All settlements are considered illegal under international law, and violate the Fourth Geneva Convention to which Israel is a signatory.