EU bars co-op with Israel illegal settlements

EU bars co-op with Israel illegal settlements
Sat Jul 20, 2013 11:55:17

The European Union has formally published new guidelines explicitly banning any EU funding of and cooperation with Israeli institutions operating in occupied territories beyond the pre-1967 lines.

The new directive, to take effect at the start of 2014, requires the EU and its members to cease any joint activity or funding with Israeli entities working over the Green Line in the West Bank and al-Quds (Jerusalem), and in the Golan Heights.

The measure also requires any future agreements between Israel and the EU to include a clause in which Israel accepts the European Union’s position that all territory over the Green Line does not belong to Israel.

After EU officials announced plans this week for the new guidelines, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with several European leaders to express his opposition and seek to have the regulations amended or delayed — to no avail.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the document released Friday “is meant to clarify the EU’s position”.

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.

SHI/SHI

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