E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, denounced the recent Israeli decision to construct additional 797 units for Jewish settlers in the Gilo settlement, and stated that Israel must stop all of its settlement activities.Ashton’s spokesperson stated that in 2011 and 2012, Ashton repeatedly expressed her disappoint over Israel’s decisions to expand the illegal Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghneim) settlement, and that the same position applies to the Israeli decision to expand Gilo.

The two settlements were built on Palestinian lands in the Bethlehem District, in direct violation of International Law.

Ashton said that settlements are illegal under International Law, and pose a serious and a direct threat to the two-state solution.

She also said that the European Union repeatedly urged Israel to stop all of its settlement activities in the occupied West Bank, including in occupied East Jerusalem.

The official further stated that peace talks are the best method to resolve the conflict, and added that settlement activities make it more difficult to create a momentum for the resumption of these talks.