EU maintains stance on Israeli settlements

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The European Union on Monday reiterated its stance that Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law.

"The European Union's position on Israeli settlement policy in the occupied Palestinian territory is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law and it erodes the viability of the two-state solution and the prospects for a lasting peace, as reaffirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 2334," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement.

The EU calls on Israel to end all settlement activity in line with its obligations as an occupying power, she said.

Mogherini said the EU will continue to support a two-state solution, "the only realistic and viable way to fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties."

The statement followed an announcement Monday by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Israeli settlements in the West Bank will no longer be viewed as illegal "per se."

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi also weighed in on Twitter.

"Settlements in occupied #Palestine are a blatant violation of Int'l law & UNSCRs. They are an illegal action that'll kill 2-state solution. Jordan's position in condemning them is unwavering. We warn against dangerous consequences of US change of position on settlements on MEPP," he said, referring to the Middle East peace process.

Roughly 650,000 Israeli Jews currently live on more than 100 settlements built since 1967, when Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians want these territories along with the Gaza Strip for the establishment of a future Palestinian state.

International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.

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