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Switzerland calls for halt to Israeli settlements

The foreign ministry says it deplores the go-ahead given by the Israeli government to build 1,600 dwellings in the occupied Palestinian territory in East Jerusalem.

A statement said Switzerland had asked Israel not to proceed with the project and to halt all forms of “colonisation” in the territory.

It added that Switzerland considers the building of such settlements a violation of international humanitarian law, which forbids an occupying power from transferring any part of its civilian population to an occupied territory.

“The Israeli settlements are a clear violation of international law.”

The ministry said the approval contradicted the wish Israel expressed to enter into a new round of negotiations on a peace settlement with the Palestinians, and risks forestalling the resumption of the peace negotiations under the auspices of the United States.

It called for the parties to work towards a rapprochement and abstain from taking any decision that could raise tensions, in particular concerning holy places situated in the occupied Palestinian territory.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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