Spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel Georg Streiter said Israel’s announcement on Sunday that it will market tenders for over 1,000 housing units in the West Bank was “a devastating message” for the peace process, Associated Press reported.
Streiter said Germany “urgently calls on the Israeli government to refrain from inviting bids for the apartments.”
Germany has strong ties to Israel and historically shied from overt criticism of its government, but under Merkel has adopted a more outspoken stance against settlement construction.
The European nation voted in favor of a resolution at the UN slamming settlement building in February.
In a joint statement at the UN meeting, France, Britain and Germany said the Jewish-only communities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem “are illegal under international law, an obstacle to peace and constitute a threat to a two-state solution.”