On 27 September, the Israeli authorities announced that they had approved plans to build 1100 new homes in the Israeli settlement Gilo in East Jerusalem. The decision comes at a critical time. Last Friday, the Middle East Quartet (the UN, the EU, the US and Russia) proposed new peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and called for both parties to refrain from provocative actions.
“I urge Israel to reverse the decision to build 1100 new homes in East Jerusalem,” Mr Støre said. Norway considers the settlements in East Jerusalem to be illegal under international law, and the decision undermines the attempt made by the Quartet to restart negotiations.