In a special Interview with Israel’s leading paper, Haaretz, Norwegian Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Støre, stated that the International Community should reconsider the import of goods produced in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.He said that Israel’s settlements are illegal under International Law, and that his country is weighing different options to implement policies that oppose the construction and expansion of settlements.
The Norwegian official made his statements just before his planned visit to Ramallah and Tel Aviv as part of the preparations for the conference of Donor Countries that will be held in New York next month.
One of the subjects on the conference’s agenda is Israel’s policies in areas “C” in the occupied West Bank.
During the interview that was held in his office in Norway, the official strongly denounced the Israeli policies in the occupied territories, and added that his government is closely monitoring the Israeli violations in the West Bank, especially in Hebron, and added that West Bank’s ‘Area C” under the Oslo peace agreement remained under Israeli control as a transitional move, and was not meant to grant Israel the chance to build and expand its illegal settlements on the expense of the Palestinians, on %60 of the West Bank.
The official further said that when his country agreed on having Israel join the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), it made it clear that this does not mean approving the annexation of the West Bank territory and the constructing settlements.
“I know that your government claims that these areas are disputed territories”, he said, “but International Law identifies the Palestinian territories as occupied”.
As for the war on Iran, he said that his country understands Israel’s deep concerns regarding the “Iranian nuclear agenda”, and approves imposing more sanctions on Tehran, but opposes military actions against the country.