[AS ALWAYS PLEASE GO TO THE LINK TO READ GOOD ARTICLES IN FULL: HELP SHAPE ALGORITHMS (and conversations) THAT EMPOWER DECENCY, DIGNITY, JUSTICE & PEACE... and hopefully Palestine]http://news.yahoo.com/eu-slams-israel-over-settlements-palestinians-151434976.html
EU foreign ministers on Monday issued a harsh critique of Israel, saying the gathering pace of settlement-building, settler extremism and ill-treatment of Palestinians threatens a two-state solution.
"The EU expresses deep concern about developments on the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible," the bloc's 27 ministers said in a statement issued during talks in Brussels.
"The viability of a two-state solution must be maintained," the three-page European Union statement added.
Israeli settlement watchdog Peace Now said on Monday that Israel was moving ahead with plans to build around 2,000 new homes in the settlement of Gilo, in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.
"There was an announcement of depositing for public review, plans for 942 housing units with an option for 300 more," the group's Hagit Ofran told AFP. "The public now has 60 days to present objections."
"Next week, on May 22, there will be a discussion on objections to a different plan for Gilo, for 900 units," she added. "Another stage in the approvals process."
The Jerusalem Post daily said it could take years before all steps were complete and construction could begin.
Reiterating that settlements on occupied land are illegal under international law, the ministers notably condemned "the marked acceleration" of settlement building since the end of a 2010 moratorium and expressed "deep concern" over settler extremism in the West Bank.
They also voiced concern over evictions and the demolition of Palestinian homes in east Jerusalem "and the prevention of peaceful Palestinian cultural, economic, social or political activities".
Turning to the so-called Area C zone of the occupied West Bank, where Israel has full civil and security control, the statement noted "the worsening living conditions" of the Palestinian population in general.
The ministers' stand came on the heels of a damaging report by NGOs this weekend alleging that Israel last year demolished dozens of Palestinian homes, water cisterns and farm buildings built with European funds.
In Area C, Israel has placed "serious limitations" on the Palestinian Authority's ability to promote economic development, the statement said.
Saying the future of Area C was critical to a future Palestinian state because this was its main land reserve, the EU urged Israel to halt demolitions and simplify the granting of building permits....READ MORE