Statement on Israeli settlement expansion in Givat Hamatos

'I am deeply concerned by the decision of the Israeli authorities on 15 November to open the bidding process for the construction of 1257 housing units in a new settlement in Givat Hamatos. If constructed, the settlement would be situated on occupied land. Settlement activity in this key area between Jerusalem and Bethlehem would be particularly detrimental to the prospects of a contiguous Palestinian state and a viable two-state solution', Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide said.

'The Norwegian government remains firm in its position that Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory are illegal under international law.'

'I reiterate my call on the Israeli government to cease all settlement activity in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem', the Minister said.