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France very concerned over evolution of illegal settlements in West Bank

PARIS, June 10 (KUNA) -- The French government said it was "very concerned" by the evolution of illegal Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank, where new constructions have tripled in the first quarter of 2103 when compared with the previous three-month period.
Israeli NGO Peace Now has raised the alarm about the trend in settlements which are illegal and considered a huge provocation by the Palestinians.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said in answer to KUNA questions that these new constructions were part of a series of building permits approved in 2012 and which France "condemned" at that time they were approved.
"Our position on settlement-building is known: we indeed consider this illegal under international law, that it drains the confidence needed for the resumption of dialogue and it constitutes an obstacle to a just peace based on the two-State solution," the spokesman responded.
He also recalled that the European Union Foreign Ministers had expressed determination twice last year to implement legislation governing products being produced in the illegal settlements and exported under Israeli label to Europe.
The EU has vowed to tighten up on this fraudulent practice but Foreign Ministers have not gone any further in the divided EU on the question of tougher sanctions against Israel for its violation of international law. (end) jk.sd KUNA 101620 Jun 13NNNN