The European Union (EU) foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, on Wednesday denounced Israel's approval of new construction in Judea and Samaria, saying the announcement risks making a two-state solution “impossible”.
The announcement "marks a very worrying trend, posing a direct challenge to the prospects of a viable two-state solution, which is increasingly difficult and risks becoming impossible," Mogherini warned in a statement quoted by AFP.
The European Union "deeply regrets that Israel is proceeding with this, despite the continuous serious international concern and objections, which have been constantly raised at all levels," she added.
Mogherini said that the Israeli construction "goes directly against" EU policy and the recommendations of the Quartet, which is made up of the EU, the United States, the United Nations and Russia.
"A negotiated two-state solution is the only way to fulfill the legitimate aspirations of both parties and to achieve enduring peace," she added.
Also on Wednesday, a spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry sharply condemned the building permits, saying, “Israeli authorities announced yesterday that they had issued permits for 3,000 more units in Israeli 'settlements' in Judea and Samaria. Within a week they have announced some 6,000 units, more than double those which were approved in the whole of 2016."
Police were given the orders to empty the outpost, home to 40 families. According to a spokesperson for protesters against the move, about 1,700 people were also on the site to support the residents and block the evacuation. That figure couldn’t be independently verified, however. Several right-wing lawmakers also arrived to show their support.
Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett on Wednesday hailed the residents of Amona as “heroes” whose campaign to stay in their homes will lead to the annexation of the West Bank and avert future evacuations in the settlements.
The leader of the right-wing party spoke as hundreds of police and bulldozers entered the West Bank outpost to demolish it per a 2014 court order which ruled it was built on privately owned Palestinian land.
The live television coverage worldwide of 3,000 Israeli cops and soldiers Wednesday, Feb. 1 as they dragged people out of 42 family homes in Amona, a tiny Jewish farming outpost on a hilltop northeast of Ramallah, was an agonizing sight for every Israeli – whatever his or her political stripe. They differed only in assigning blame, but almost all awarded the country’s ruling institutions a failed grade for allowing the Amona affair to reach its tragic moment, although it contributes nothing toward solving the dispute with the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and the two Jewish Home ministers Naftali Bennett, Education, and Ayelet Shaked, Justice, lost their right to claim leadership of the right-wing camp at Amona, 2017.
They stand accused of learning nothing from the traumas of the forcible evacuation of 8,500 Jewish families from Gush Katif, as part of Ariel Sharon’s unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip; and the brutal mounted police charge ordered by Ehud Olmert in 2006 to remove Jewish families from Amona in its previous incarnation. Neither action brought Israeli an inch closer to peace with the Palestinians.,
Bennett was booed by the faithful of his party when he tried to argue that the battle for Amona may have been lost, but the war for Judea and Samira has been won. Time will tell whether this claim holds up, even during the Trump administration, with which he claims covert contacts.