Egypt condemns Israeli decision to build new settlements in Jerusalem

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Egypt condemned on Tuesday the Israeli government’s approval of building new settlements in Jerusalem.

In a statement issued by Egypt’s Foreign Ministry, Egypt stressed that the continuation of building settlements is hindering the two-state solution and all peace talks. It also added in the statement that this decision demolishes hopes for any inclusive or fair solution to the Palestinian people.

Egypt called on the international community to encourage both Palestine and Israel to resume talks, and also called on Israel to immediately halt its activities in Jerusalem as it is violating international legislations and further complicating the conflict.

In December 2016, the United Nations (UN) security council adopted a resolution stipulating on the illegality of the Israeli settlements within Palestinian lands; a decision shortly after which Israel announced that it will not abide by its terms.

Egypt had filed the aforementioned resolution to the UN security council; however, it decided not to proceed with a voting session. Four other countries decided to file the resolution when Egypt backtracked and passed it. During the voting session, the US didn’t veto the resolution and it was successfully adopted by the council.

Newly inaugurated US president Donald Trump has severely denounced the UN security council resolution. He further promised Israel that he will move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem; a move that Trump may be depicting as a symbolic one. However, it will further complicate the two-state solution and cause tension in the Middle East.

In September 2016, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict topped the agenda of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi during his participation in the UN general assembly in New York City. Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry visited Israel in 2016. He had received hard backlash as the visit was described as “normalising relations” with Israel.

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