BERLIN (AA) - Germany on Wednesday criticized the Israeli government over a new law that paves the way for restoring illegal settlements in the north of the occupied West Bank.
“The German government is very concerned about this,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement, warning that this “dangerous step” threatens to aggravate the already tense security situation in the region.
On Tuesday, Israel’s parliament passed a bill to allow Israelis to resettle in four outposts that were evacuated in 2005, under former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan from the Gaza Strip.
“The decision contradicts with the intention of the agreement reached between Israel and the Palestinians … in which they committed to refrain from unilateral steps,” the German Foreign Ministry said.
“The Disengagement Law of 2005 was also part of a larger, internationally negotiated as well as guaranteed withdrawal from Gaza and parts of the West Bank. Keeping commitments once made is also a matter of contractual reliability,” the ministry stressed.
It also reiterated Germany’s long-held position against Israeli settlement expansions in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“The German government's position on Israeli settlement construction remains unchanged. These are illegal under international law, and they jeopardize future negotiations for peace, and a life in security and dignity for both Israelis and Palestinians,” the ministry said.