The European Union and Turkey have condemned Israel's latest approval to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank. 

The European Union and Turkey have condemned Israel's latest approval to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank.

 On December 25 and 26, Israel's Higher Planning Committee approved the construction of 2,191 housing units in Israeli settlements. 

 The EU stressed that Israel's decision undermines the viability of the two-state solution and the possibility of lasting peace in a written statement on Thursday.

 "The European Union's position on Israeli settlement construction and related activities is clear and remains unchanged: all settlement activity is illegal under international law," the statement reads.

  On Thursday France condemned the move and called on the Israeli administration to reconsider the decision which "heightens tensions".

 "The settlements endanger the two-state solution, which is the only solution that would allow for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians," the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement. 

The UK said the recent decision is "unacceptable and disappointing" and urged Israel to cease such actions.

 "Such actions are illegal under international law and call into question Israel’s commitment to any future peace agreement with the Palestinians," Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said.

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