Cameron blasts illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem

British Prime Minister Cameron says they 'do not support illegal settlements' in East Jerusalem and Israeli occupation is 'genuinely shocking'

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron answers questions after delivering a speech on the European Union to workers and guests at the headquarters of O2 in Slough, west of London, Britain, February 23, 2016.

British Prime Minister David Cameron harshly criticised illegal Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem during a parliamentary session on Wednesday.

Cameron's remarks came while answering a question by opposition Labour MP, Imran Hussain, about whether the PM agrees that illegal settlements and constructions are a major roadblock that hinder peace negotiations between Israel and Palestine.

"What this government has consistently done and gone on doing is saying yes, we are supporters of Israel, but we do not support illegal settlements, we do not support what is happening in East Jerusalem," Cameron said.

“It’s very important that this capital city is maintained in the way that it was in the past,” he added describing the occupation in East Jerusalem as "genuinely shocking."

US Secretary of State John Kerry also criticised Israel on Wednesday saying that increased settlement building is not helping to ease tensions between Israelis and Palestinians.

"I don't think that the situation is helped by additional settlement construction and building," Kerry told a House of Representatives Appropriations subcommittee at a hearing on the State Department's annual budget request.

Section of Israeli separation barrier close to Jewish illegal settlement near occupied Jerusalem.

The illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian land, West Bank were first built by Israel in 1976. Under the government of Benjamin Netanyahu, a number of settlements in occupied East Jerusalem has seen great expansion since 2009.

Approximately 400,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank in settlements that are largely condemned as being illegal by the international community, which sees settlement buildings as undermining international efforts to reach a two-state solution.

Kerry commented on the violence in the occupied land saying, "I think that I know we need to see measures taken on both sides to indicate a readiness and willingness to try to proceed forward and reduce the violence." 

Tension caused by years of Israeli occupation in Palestine was once again trigerred in September 13, when Israeli soldiers stormed into the holy Al Aqsa mosque and attacked civilian worshippers while vandalising the mosque.

More than 180 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli army and police since Oct. 1 while during the same period at least 30 Israelis and foreigners have also been killed.

In the latest fatal incident, a Palestinian teen was shot dead on Sunday by Israeli troops near the West Bank city of Nablus after allegedly trying to attack Israeli soldiers with a knife, the Israeli Army said.

TRTWorld and agencies