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Joint international statement following recent events in Israel and the West Bank

The Foreign Ministers of Australia, Canada and the UK are deeply concerned by recent events in Israel and the West Bank which further reduce the prospects for peace.

We are gravely concerned by the Government of Israel’s approval on June 26 of over 5,700 new settlement units in the West Bank. We are also concerned by the changes to the settlement approval process instituted by the Government of Israel on June 18, which facilitate swifter approval of construction in settlements.

The continued expansion of settlements is an obstacle to peace and negatively impacts efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution. We call on the Government of Israel to reverse these decisions.

We are also deeply troubled by the continued violence and loss of life in Israel and in the West Bank. We unequivocally condemn all forms of terrorism and violence against civilians, including the terrorist attack on June 20 in Eli targeting Israeli civilians. We also condemn the reprehensible and ongoing settler violence targeting Palestinians. We welcome the joint statement from the heads of the Israel Defense Forces, Israel Security Agency and the Israel Police as well as statements by other Israeli leaders condemning these acts. We call on authorities to ensure accountability for all perpetrators of violence.

The cycle of violence in Israel and the West Bank must be broken.

Australia, Canada and the UK stand firmly with the Israeli and Palestinian people in their right to live in peace and security, with dignity, without fear and with their human rights fully respected. We continue to support a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East, including the creation of a Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel. This vision can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties.

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