Alistair Burt attacks Israeli settlement plans

Alistair Burt (Photo: AP)

Alistair Burt (Photo: AP)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister Alistair Burt attacked Israel’s plans to build new settlements beyond the Green Line in a statement released today.

Calling the plans “profoundly provocative”, Mr Burt condemned the proposal to build 1242 settlement units in Mordot Gilo South and 3150 units in Givaat Hamatos. He also attacked this week’s upgrade of settlement-based Ariel College to university status.

“These are further actions that run contrary to the Fourth Geneva Convention,” he said.

“By taking these steps, despite the international community repeatedly raising our profound concerns, the Israeli government is damaging Israel’s international reputation.”

Mr Burt, the minister for the Middle East, also praised “the measured response the Palestinian leadership had been taking in response to Israel’s recent settlement announcements.

“We reiterate our call on Israel urgently to reverse these decisions and take no further steps aimed at expanding or entrenching settlement activity.”

Last updated: 5:20pm, December 27 2012