Plans to build 120 new settlement homes in East Jerusalem were approved on Monday.Jerusalem’s municipal council has approved plans to add two new tranches of homes to the Jewish settlement of Ramot in East Jerusalem. One permit authorizes the addition of 64 units and the other the remaining 56.

East Jerusalem is part of the occupied territory seized by Israel during the 1967 war. All settlements in this area, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law.

The EU’s foreign policy chief, Baroness Ashton, is due to visit shortly and has noted that further building of this sort harms the peace process. In a statement, made recently, she condemned settlements as ‘an obstacle to peace’.

She further noted that, ‘[r]ecent settlement-related developments, including in east Jerusalem, contradict efforts by the international community for successful negotiations.’ The municipal authority’s decision on the matter is final and building will commence.