Turkey condemns renewed settlement activity in East Jerusalem

April 06, 2012, Friday/ 14:41:00/ TODAYSZAMAN.COM

Turkey has strongly condemned the Israeli government for a recent move to open tenders for the construction of hundreds of new housing units in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa.

“We strongly condemn the Israeli government for adding to its settlement activities in occupied Palestinian lands by opening tenders for more than 800 additional [housing] units,” the Turkish Foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.

The ministry accused Israel of “openly violating international law by going ahead with its settlement activities, ignoring reactions from the world,” saying these activities blocks the efforts to revive the peace process in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. “In this regard, the international community should continue underlining that these settlements are unacceptable,” the ministry said.

“We call on Israel to fulfill its responsibilities derived from international law and to end all its activities that harm the basis for peace as soon as possible,” the ministry said.

Israel's Housing Ministry opened the tenders on Tuesday, drawing strong reactions and condemnation from Palestinians and the international community. The new construction will significantly expand Har Homa to the south and east, bringing it closer to the Palestinian towns of Beit Sahour and Nuaman.

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