BRUSSELS, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini here on Wednesday decried the Israeli government's announcement to build an additional 3,000 housing units in the West Bank, warning the move marked "a very worrying trend."
"The announcement by the Israeli government ...marks a very worrying trend, posing a direct challenge to the prospects of a viable two-state solution, which is increasingly difficult," Mogherini said in a statement.
"The European Union is strongly opposed to this policy and deeply regrets that Israel is proceeding with this, despite the continuous serious international concern and objections, which have been constantly raised at all levels," she continued.
Slamming Israel's continued settlement expansion, Mogherini stressed that a negotiated two-state solution was the only way to "fulfil the legitimate aspirations of both parties and to achieve enduring peace."
Israel on Tuesday approved the construction of 3,000 housing units in West Bank settlements, amidst a series of settlement expansions in the wake of the inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.
According to a statement from Israeli Defense minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the approval is "part of returning to normal life" in the West Bank, after some construction projects were put on hold during Barack Obama's administration.
Their statement was released hours before the expected eviction of the illegal Jewish outpost of Amona, east of Ramallah, and was widely viewed by local media as a mean to appease hardline settlers.
Last Tuesday, days after Trump was sworn into office, Lieberman and Netanyahu gave the green light to 2,500 other housing units.
The settlements are illegal under international law because they are built on lands seized by Israel in the 1967 Mideast War, where the Palestinians wish to form their future state.