Switzerland calls for a stop to Israeli settlements

Bern, Press release, 10.03.2010

The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) is deeply concerned about the announcement of the Government of Israel to authorise the construction of 1,600 new dwellings in a settlement in East Jerusalem in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It asks the Israeli government not to proceed with this building project and to halt all forms of colonisation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The FDFA is following with concern the events taking place in East Jerusalem, and deplores the go-ahead given by the Government of Israel to the building of 1,600 new dwellings in the settlement of Ramat Shlomo in East Jerusalem in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. It asks the Government of Israel not to proceed with the building project. East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Switzerland considers the building of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to be a violation of international humanitarian law, which forbids an occupying power to transfer any part of its civilian population to an occupied territory. The Israeli settlements are a clear violation of international law.

In addition, this decision by Israel contradicts the wish it expressed to enter into a new round of negotiations on a peace settlement with the Palestinians, and risks forestalling the resumption of the peace negotiations under the auspices of the US administration. Switzerland considers that to go ahead with the building project would be incompatible with the process of finding a comprehensive and lasting settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Switzerland calls on the parties concerned to work towards a rapprochement and to abstain from taking any decision that could raise tensions, in particular with respect to the holy places situated in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


Further information:

International humanitarian law


Address for enquiries:

Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: (+41) 031 322 31 53
Fax: (+41) 031 324 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch


Publisher:

Federal Department of Foreign Affairs