Foreign ministers around the world Tuesday criticized Israel’s authorization of  residential construction in nine communities in the West Bank.US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced his opposition to the move on Monday. On Tuesday, the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Italy and the UK foreign secretary joined Blinken in a joint statement condemning the authorization. They wrote:We strongly oppose these unilateral actions which will only serve to exacerbate tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution. We continue to support a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East, which must be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties. Israelis and Palestinians both deserve to live in peace, with equal measures of freedom, security, and prosperity.The authorization came from Israel’s security cabinet and is alleged to be a response to “murderous terrorist attacks in Jerusalem.” The press release following the authorization states that Israel’s Civil Administration Higher Planning Committee must approve residential construction. The announcement comes amid protests in Israel over legal reforms which would weaken the judiciary and continued violence between Israel and Palestine.
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