On Thursday, Palestine was given the status of observer state in the UN General Assembly. Norway was one of a total of 138 countries to vote in favour of the resolution, while nine countries voted against. Over the weekend, Israel has announced that it will intensify the construction of housing units in illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In addition, it has announced that it will begin planning construction in the E1 area east of Jerusalem.
"Norway is particularly critical of the decision to pursue plans to build housing units in the E1 area east of Jerusalem. If construction goes ahead as planned in the E1 area, this will divide the West Bank in two, Jerusalem will be cut off from the West Bank and any meaningful two-state solution will be impossible to achieve," Mr Eide said.
"Norway has repeatedly stressed to both the Israeli and the Palestinian authorities that they have a responsibility to act in a way that does not preclude a two-state solution. The decisions Israel has made run counter to this line, and I call on the Israeli Government now to shelve its construction plans," Mr Eide said.