Presidency statement regarding the Israeli decision to issue tenders for the construction of 1001 housing units in West Bank settlements, 18 August 2004
Minister for Foreign Affairs Bernard Bot, speaking as President of the Council of Ministers of the European Union, expressed his dismay at the tenders issued by the Israeli Ministry of Housing for the construction of houses and the lease of land in several settlements in the occupied West Bank. This is the second time this month that expansion of Israeli settlement activity is endorsed by the Israeli government.
Minister Bot reiterated that all settlement activity is to be frozen, including natural growth of settlements, as stipulated in the Roadmap. In addition, Minister Bot expressed his grave concern that, particularly at a time that there appear to be prospects of making early progress in the Middle East Peace Process, the current increase of settlement activity in the West Bank will not be conducive to a climate of confidence required to achieve such progress.