"The expansion of settlements in the West Bank violates international law and risks irreparably undermining the viability of a just, sustainable two-state solution," Italy's Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
"We therefore urge Israel to refrain from any unilateral action that" would undermine "ongoing efforts to restore confidence between the parties and jeopardize the resumption of direct negotiations," it stated.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday that, "Settlement expansion increases the risk of confrontation, further undermines the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, and further erodes the possibility of ending the occupation and establishing a contiguous and viable sovereign Palestinian state, based on the pre-1967 lines."
He urged Israel "to halt and reverse such decisions, which are a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution, and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace."
Germany said that such activity "makes a negotiated two-state solution and an end to the occupation more difficult."
It called on Israel to halt settlement activity including the project to construct a new Jewish neighborhood in east Jerusalem called Givat Hamatos, which is located at a strategic juncture on the city's edge near the Palestinian West Bank city of Bethlehem.
Germany said it was concerns by Israeli steps to unilaterally deepen its hold on east Jerusalem, even though Israel formally applied sovereignty to areas of Jerusalem over the pre-1967 lines in 1980.
Germany stated that "amendments to the lines of 4 June 1967, including those with regard to Jerusalem, can only be agreed by both parties through negotiations."
It offers to help Israelis and Palestinians relaunch talks particularly through the Munich Group, which includes Germany, France, Egypt and Jordan.
"A negotiated two-state solution remains the best solution to the Middle East conflict, both with a view to guaranteeing Israel’s security and safeguarding the rights of the Palestinians," it said.