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Canada says very worried by Israel's move to legalize settlements
February 8, 2017 / 9:41 PM / 7 months ago

Canada says very worried by Israel's move to legalize settlements

Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada is very concerned by Israel’s move to legalize thousands of settler homes on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Wednesday.

The Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, which took power in late 2015, is more prepared to criticize Israel than the former Conservative administration, which adopted a resolutely pro-Israel policy.

Israel’s Parliament on Monday approved a law retroactively legalizing homes built on privately owned Palestinian land. The move generated broad international condemnation.

“Canada is very concerned ... and we want to underline that this expansion of settlements is illegal under international law,” Freeland told reporters on a conference call.

Canada is calling on all parties not to make unilateral moves which could have a negative effect, she added.

Ottawa has long backed a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Reporting by David Ljunggren; Editing by Sandra Maler

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