FDFA: Israeli government’s decision to build new settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory regrettable

Press release, 25.01.2017

Bern, 25.01.2017 - The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) considers regrettable the decision of the Israeli government taken on 24 January 2017 to authorise the planning and construction of 2,500 new houses in the occupied Palestinian territory.    

This decision comes just two days after the government approved the construction of another 566 homes in East Jerusalem.

The FDFA maintains that Israeli settlements built in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international humanitarian law and constitute a violation of the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of the Palestinian people. This position was also restated in UN Security Council Resolution 2334 adopted on 23 December 2016.

The FDFA calls on the Israeli government to reverse its decision and halt all settlement building, which poses a major obstacle to peace and a serious threat to the two-state solution. The two-state solution was recently highlighted by the Conference for Peace in the Middle East held on 15 January 2017 in Paris, which Switzerland is also involved in. It was attended by ministers from over 70 countries and representatives of international organisations, who signed a joint declaration to this effect. The last report of the Middle East Quartet of 1 July 2016 also emphasised the two-state solution.