Quartet issues statement following Netanyahu’s speech: “Settlements continue to be an obstacle to peace”

Despite Netanyahu’s attempts to convince the world that the settlements are not an obstacle to peace, the Quartet on the Middle East reiterated its strong opposition to Israel’s settlement activity: “The acceleration of settlement construction is eroding the viability of the two-state solution.”
"An obstacle to peace" Photo Credit: Channel 2 News

Despite the attempts of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to convince the world that Israeli settlements are not an obstacle to peace, the Quartet on the Middle East reiterated its opposition to settlement construction today (Friday). At the end of a meeting held by the Quartet this evening on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, representatives from the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union issued a statement in which they expressed their strong opposition to settlement construction beyond the Green Line.

“The Quartet emphasizes its strong opposition to ongoing settlement activity, which is an obstacle to peace, and expresses its grave concern that the acceleration of settlement construction and expansion is steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution,” the statement read.

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“This conflict is not about the settlements." Netanyahu Photo Credit: Reuters / Channel 2 News

The Quartet issued the statement in response to the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech at the UN General Assembly in which he claimed that the responsibility for the deadlock in peace talks rested on the shoulders of the Palestinians. “The true core of the conflict is the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize the Jewish state in any boundary,” Netanyahu stated. “This conflict is not about the settlements. It never was.”

“The conflict raged for decades before there was a single settlement, when Judea and Samaria and Gaza were all in Arab hands,” the Israeli Prime Minister added. “When we uprooted all 21 settlements in Gaza and withdrew from every last inch of Gaza, we didn’t get peace from Gaza – we got thousands of rockets fired at us from Gaza.”

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