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Norway Deplores New Israeli Settlements

Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide warns Israel about continuing settlement in occupied Palestinian regions.

- I reject that Israel again accepts a large number of new homes in East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Building of settlements on occupied territory violates international law and threatens the basis of a two-state solution, says Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide. 

Israeli authorities announced on 6 November that they have put out to tender for the construction of 1,285 new housing units in the settlements of Ramot and Pisgat Zeev in east Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Ariel. 

With these developments, 2012 has become a record year for Israeli expansion in ten years and this announcement accounts for 2 percent of all homes built in the occupied territories since 1967. 

In October, the Israeli government approved 797 new homes in Gilo and 108 new homes in Talpiot in East Jerusalem. Israel is also planning the construction of a military academy in a foreign area on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. 

- I urge Israel to reverse its decision on new tenders. The Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem complicate efforts to find a solution to the Jerusalem question, said Eide.

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