West Bank Tensions ‘Obstacle’ To Peace-EU’s Borrell

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Josep Borrell, EU High representative for Foreign Affairs
Josep Borrell, EU High representative for Foreign Affairs
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Josep Borrell, EU High representative for Foreign Affairs

The European Union foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell on Sunday said the situation in the Israel-occupied West Bank posed a major obstacle to finding a long-term solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Borrell said the EU needed to “support the Arab initiative” to establish a Palestinian state, including both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Borrell’s comments come after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a plan for international recognition of such a state, following reports of such an initiative in The Washington Post.

He said; “The West Bank is the real obstacle for the two-state solution,” Borrell said at the Munich Security Conference.

“The West Bank is at boiling… we could be on the eve of a greater explosion.” 

About 490,000 Israelis live in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since 1967, in dozens of settlements that are deemed illegal under international law.

The settlers live alongside around three million Palestinians in the territory.

Palestinians view the Israeli settlements as a war crime and a major obstacle to peace, but many national-religious hardliners see living there as fulfilling a divine promise.

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war on October 7, the number of clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the West Bank has increased.

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