Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on Monday condemned Israel's plans to build new homes in West Bank settlements, saying it showed Israel was not committed to peace with the Palestinians.
In a statement, AK Party deputy chairman responsible for foreign affairs Ömer Çelik called the Israeli decision to build 336 new houses “illegal,” and added that it showed Israel, which “unjustly accuses the Palestinian side” for the failure of peace efforts, is the one who does not want peace.
Israel's Ministry of Housing and Construction has launched tenders for the building of 294 homes in the Beitar Illit settlement outside Jerusalem and 42 in the Karnei Shomron settlement. Israel believes that both settlements will be included in Israel permanent borders once a final status agreement is reached with the Palestinians.
Çelik said that Israeli settlements in the West Bank were the main reason behind the suspension of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians in 2010 and said its continued plans to build new homes in settlements reveals once again “Israeli opposition to international law, human rights and peace.”
Çelik's statement came a day after the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the Israeli decision to build new houses. “Illegal activities conducted by Israel on the territory it invaded are definitely unacceptable,” the Foreign Ministry's statement said. “This decision deepens suspicions of Israel's sincerity.”