Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign & European Affairs;

Luxembourg's Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Jean Asselborn, has issued a statement in which he expresses concern over Israel's settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territories.

On Sunday, Israeli authorities announced plans to build more residences for Jewish settlers in the Occupied West Bank. The announcement has sparked backlash from Palestinians, peace activists and neighbouring Jordan.

On Tuesday, Luxembourg's Foreign Minister joined critics in condemning the plans. In his statement, he said: "I condemn the announcement by Israeli authorities, on 24 October, regarding the publication of tenders for the construction of more than 1,300 housing units in Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, as well as a tender for the construction of an additional 83 units in Givat Hamatos in East Jerusalem".

Minister Jean Asselborn added: "I call on the Israeli government to abandon the plans for the expansion of these settlements, which already constitute a flagrant violation of international law as well as a major obstacle to the achievement of the two State solution, as reaffirmed by the UN Security Council in its resolution 2334 (2016). The construction of housing units in Givat Hamatos would cut Jerusalem from the West Bank and constitute a barrier to the formation of a future sovereign, contiguous and viable Palestinian State within the borders of 4 June 1967". 

He concluded: "I wish to underline once again the EU's longstanding position, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 2334, that we will not recognise any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations".

Israel's settlement policy is deemed illegal under international law.