February 8, 2017 / 9:45 PM / a year ago

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

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada is very concerned by Israel’s move to legalise 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 criticise 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.

Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, speaks to the media while he and his cabinet take part in a two-day Liberal retreat in Calgary, Alberta, Canada January 24, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Bolin

“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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