The United States, Germany, France, Britain and Italy have expressed "deeply disturbed" by the Israeli government's announcement that it would allow nearly 10,000 more settlement units for Jewish settlers in the occupied Palestinian territories.
"We firmly reject these unilateral measures, which are designed only to increase tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and undermine efforts to negotiate a two-state solution," said a joint statement by the foreign ministers of the five released on Tuesday states.
Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve to live in peace and to enjoy freedom, security and prosperity, the five foreign ministers continue. The five Western states have expressly committed themselves to a two-state solution with a “sovereign, viable” Palestinian state alongside Israel.
On Monday, the German government had already expressed its concern about the decision by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing government to retrospectively legalize nine Jewish outposts in the occupied West Bank. A Foreign Ministry spokesman said that this was illegal even under Israeli law.