The newly announced Israeli plan to construct additional 1600 units in the illegal Ramat Shlomo settlement, in occupied East Jerusalem, attracted international condemnation, as decision that complicates the situation and obstructs efforts to restart the stalled peace talks.Last Thursday, Israel approved the construction of more than 4300 units in occupied East Jerusalem, and the week before it, the Israeli government announced the construction of 900 units in the “Har Homa” Jabal Abu Ghneim illegal settlement.

Egyptian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Amro, said that Cairo cannot accept this plan adding that all settlements are illegal and violate the international law.

Visiting Russia, Amro stated that the new Israeli plan is yet another obstacle to stalled peace process.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also denounced the plan and stated that Israel’s decision to build the 1600 new units will cause a deterioration to the already tensed and collapsing the Middle East peace talks.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Alexander Lukashevich, stated that “the Israeli decision raises new fears and must be rejected as it will cause a deterioration to the fragile situation”, and added that the constructions are illegal and contradict international efforts to resume peace talks.

Spain also denounced the plan and considered it as another obstacle to the efforts to resume talks.

The Spanish Foreign Ministry announced that expanding and constructing settlements in East Jerusalem obstructs the international efforts to resume the peace process, and the efforts to achieve a two-state solution living side by side in peace and security.

It added that East Jerusalem is part of the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967, and that all Israeli settlements built in the West Bank are illegitimate under International Law.

British Foreign Minister, William Hague, said that he is extremely concerned regarding the Israeli policies that ignore the international community, and added that “while various countries are seeking the resumption of peace talks, the new Israeli plan comes to change facts on the ground”.

Hague stated that the new plan poses a threat to the two-state solution, and leads to more mistrust in the efforts to resume direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

European Union higher representative for foreign affairs and security policy, Catherine Ashton, strongly denounced the Israeli plan, and said that the construction and expansion of settlements jeopardizes the efforts to resume Palestinian-Israeli peace talks.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry, expressed concern regarding the new Israel plan, and stated that the plan was also strongly denounced in March this year when it was still in the initial planning phase.
Serry said that the UN is concerned regarding the Israeli government’s decision to build more settlements in East Jerusalem, including the 1600 units in Ramat Shlomo.

The UN envoy further stated that that “the new provocative plan is a threat to all efforts meant to ensure the resumption of peace talks”.