MINISTER PETTIGREW URGES ISRAEL TO ABANDON PLAN TO EXPAND WEST BANK SETTLEMENT
Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew today issued the following statement concerning Israel’s authorization to construct approximately 3,500 new homes in the West Bank, and other recent developments in the Middle East:
“Canada is disappointed by the Israeli government’s decision to build more housing units in the West Bank and urges the Israeli government to reconsider this decision. Canada calls upon both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to fulfill their reciprocal obligations under the Quartet’s Roadmap for Peace.
“Canada has repeatedly emphasized to Israel that these settlements are inconsistent with international law. This development runs contrary to the commitments Israel made in the Quartet’s Roadmap.
“Furthermore, this announcement is out of step with renewed signs of cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians. Recent agreements at Sharm el Sheikh and in Cairo, Egypt, aimed at improving the security situation for Israelis and Palestinians, and the planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and portions of the West Bank, are important and positive developments for all parties.
“Canada, in concert with its G8 and other partners, has renewed its commitment to help Israel and the Palestinian Authority at this crucial time. It is imperative that all of the parties do their utmost to maintain positive momentum in order to fully capitalize on these commitments.”
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