EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Friday she "deeply regrets" the decision of the Israeli Interior Ministry to approve the construction of new housing units in Gilo, her spokesperson said in a statement.
"The EU High Representative deeply regrets the decision by the Israeli Ministry of Interior to approve the expansion of Gilo settlement by 797 new housing units," he said.
"During 2011 and 2012 the EU High Representative has expressed her profound disappointment on a number of occasions concerning the expansion of nearby Har Homa settlement.
Together these developments continue the process of separating East Jerusalem from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory," the statement added.
Ashton recalled that "settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible."
"The EU has repeatedly urged the Government of Israel to immediately end all settlement activities in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, in line with its obligations under the Roadmap."
She continued : "The European Union maintains that negotiations continue to represent the best way forward in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Continuous expansion of settlements makes this all themore difficult."
Unlike the EU, Israel consideres Gilo not as a "settlement" but as a Jewish neighbourhood which constitutes an integral part of Jeruasalem, its "eternal and indivisible" capital.