Switzerland urges Israel to stop building project in East Jerusalem

10:29, March 11, 2010      

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The Swiss Foreign Ministry on Wednesday called on Israel to stop building new dwellings in East Jerusalem, saying such an action on the Occupied Palestinian Territory is a clear violation of international humanitarian law.

In a statement, the ministry said it was "deeply concerned" about the announcement of the Israeli government to authorize the construction of 1,600 new dwellings in East Jerusalem.

It asked Israel "not to proceed with this building project and to halt all forms of colonization in the Occupied Palestinian Territory."

"East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Occupied Palestinian Territory," the statement said.

"Switzerland considers the building of settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory to be a violation of international humanitarian law, which forbids an occupying power to transfer any part of its civilian population to an occupied territory," it added.

According to the statement, Israel's decision also "contradicts the wish it expressed to enter into a new round of negotiations on a peace settlement with the Palestinians, and risks forestalling the resumption of the peace negotiations."

"Switzerland considers that to go ahead with the building project would be incompatible with the process of finding a comprehensive and lasting settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict," it said.

It also called on parties concerned to work toward a rapprochement and to abstain from taking any decision that could raise tensions.

Source: Xinhua
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