Archive for the ‘European Union’ tag
A newly approved internal report of European Heads of Mission, titled “Area C and Palestinian State Building,” cautioned that the chances for a two-state solution on 1967 borders will be lost if Israel does not change its policies in Area C. Area C is defined by the Oslo Accords as those parts of the West Bank under full Israeli control. “What’s special about this report is that we are all partners in it and agree on the wording of it,” a European diplomat commented. In the factual section of the original, the report stated that Israeli policy in Area C “result in forced transfer of the native population.” According to the report, 5.8% of the West Bank’s Palestinian population – about 150,000 people – lives on Area C, which constitutes 62 % of the West Bank. The report found that the Israeli planning policy in these areas encourages the building of settlements and prevents Palestinian building; Israel demolishes houses to which it wouldn’t give building permits, prevents infrastructure development, restricts Palestinian’s freedom of movement and access to water and other resources.
European Union Ambassador to Israel, Andrew Stendly, has issued an official complaint to the Foreign Ministry regarding the eviction of Bedouin residents and the demolition of Palestinian homes in part of the E1 area of the West Bank in which a Jewish neighborhood is planned that would create territorial contiguity between Jerusalem and the settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim. Foreign Ministry Deputy Director-General for Europe Rafi Shutz also heard from the ambassador that the EU is concerned about the rise in the number of houses demolished in the West Bank by the Civil Authority.
According to experts on the Separation Wall in the Jerusalem area, there are increasing signs that Israel is paving the way for construction in the E1 area. For example, after many years of inactivity, Israel renewed work on two roads in the Ma’aleh Adumim area and has opened a new crossing point in Shuafat, a Palestinian neighborhood in the north of East Jerusalem.
Although Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) claimed his Brussels talks on Israel-EU relations as a success, the summary published by the the European Union included reprimands and condemnations of Israel. The EU criticized efforts personally led by Lieberman especially sharply, such as the parliamentary committee of inquiry for human rights NGOs.