The EU, like much of the rest of the world, considers Israeli settlements a violation of international law and an impediment to peace with the Palestinians, whose land has been occupied by the Israelis.
European diplomats anonymously told The Associated Press on Friday that the foreign ministers of the EU member states were now to discuss a unanimous stance against the unlawful constructions before holding a next round of routine talks with Tel Aviv.
Such internal deliberation has effectively put a future schedule for the talks with Israel in uncertainty.
One diplomat said future talks could not be “business as usual. Things have to be said very clearly to the Israelis.”
“We want to have a unified and clear European Union position that takes into account developments on the ground,” the diplomat said. “Once we have a clear position, then we can look at a date” for future talks with Israel.
Israel has been setting up settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem since occupying the Palestinian territories in 1967. The structures have been widely condemned as an insidious push toward facilitating the annexation of the lands.