Israel irked by EU directive on illegal settlements

Israel irked by EU directive on illegal settlements
Tue Jul 16, 2013 17:06:14

Israel is angered by the European Union’s new directive that bans the EU's dealing with Israeli settlements built beyond 1967 borders.

Israeli regime’s deputy foreign minister Zeev Elkin said on Tuesday that the EU decision was “very significant and worrying.”

The new measure demands Israeli authorities to guarantee that all EU funding and cooperation projects are not in al-Quds (east Jerusalem), the West Bank or Golan Heights, as the territories were illegally captured by the Tel Aviv regime during 1967 war.

The directive is expected to take effect as of 2014.

Israel’s controversial settlement activities and its refusal to halt them in the face of international demand have been seen as a major obstacle to any peace process between the regime and Palestinian authorities.

Elkin however tried to blame the new EU directive for possible failures in negotiations between the two sides saying that the decision would undermine attempts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to begin peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Reports say that the new directive was drawn up as a result of the decision by European foreign ministers last December, which stated that all agreements between the EU and Israel “must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”

The Tel Aviv occupying regime has increased its illegal settlement expansion following an upgrade of Palestine’s status at the UN to a non-member observer state on November 29, 2012.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds. Much of the international community considers the settlements illegal.

Last month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized Israel’s plan to build more than 1,000 new illegal units in the occupied West Bank.


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