Recent land grabs in the West Bank, the largest since August 2014, are a violation of international law and seriously undermine efforts to achieve peace in the region, the Australian Greens said today.
"The Australian Government must add their voice to the United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and the European Union in condemning this illegal settlement expansion, and to make clear that Australia views this as a violation of international law," Australian Greens Co-Deputy Leader and Foreign Affairs spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
"It is ridiculous to see that while the rest of the world, including our closest allies, are speaking out against this aggressive settlement expansion, the Australian Government remains silent.
"At a time when parties to this conflict should be taking all steps toward de-escalation of the conflict, the further expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank flies in the face of international law and dangerously undermines attempts to broker a peaceful outcome.
"All people in Israel and Palestine have a right to live in peace and security, and this illegal settlement expansion by the Israeli Government sets this agenda back, in an already volatile region," Senator Ludlam said.
"This will needlessly drive the parties to the conflict even further apart, and our government should condemn it."