Saturday

10th Dec 2016

EU countries confront Israel on latest land-grab

  • The Har Homa settlement overlooking Bethlehem is to see another 500 homes added (Photo: hoyasmeg)

The four EU countries on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) have used unusually strong words against Israel's latest expansion of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.

France, Germany, Portugal and the UK said in a joint statement published on the British UN embassy's website on Tuesday (20 December) they are "dismayed by these wholly negative developments" which "send a devastating message" to the peace process.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"The viability of the Palestinian state that we want to see and the two-state solution that is essential for Israel's long-term security are threatened by the systematic and deliberate expansion of settlements," they noted

They added that recent arson attacks by right-wing Jewish settlers on Palestinian mosques, such as Nebi Akasha and Burqa, are "deliberately provocative" and "designed to aggravate tensions."

Brazil, India, South Africa, Russia and Arab countries' UN envoys voiced similar complaints.

Israel at the weekend published a tender for 680 new Jewish homes to be built in Palestinian areas in Jerusalem and another 348 in the West Bank.

Its UN spokeswoman Karean Peretz said the UNSC should keep quiet on Israel and talk about Iran and Syria instead. She dubbed the anti-settlement statements "a badge of shame for the international community."

A US spokesman added that the UNSC risks "hardening" Israeli and Palestinian divisions by getting involved in peace talks.

EU heads of mission in Ramallah have year after year criticised Israeli housing policies in Jerusalem as designed to fence off the holy city from any future two-state agreement.

Deputy heads of mission in Tel Aviv earlier this month added that Israel is also trampling on the rights of Arab Israeli citizens inside the "Jewish state" proper.

The diplomatic fire-fight comes amid Palestine's bid to upgrade its UN status to a "non-member state" like the Vatican in order to protect its borders.

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta, Slovenia and Spain in November already backed Palestine's succesful application to join the UN's Paris-based cultural heritage office, Unesco.

News in Brief

  1. Council of Europe critical of Turkey emergency laws
  2. Italian opposition presses for anti-euro referendum
  3. Danish MP wants warning shots fired to deter migrants
  4. Defected Turkish officers to remain in Greece
  5. Most child asylum seekers are adults, says Denmark
  6. No school for children of 'illegal' migrants, says Le Pen
  7. Ombudsman slams EU Commission on tobacco lobbying
  8. McDonald's moves fiscal HQ to UK following tax probe

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Use Bioenergy Coming From Forests in a Sustainable Way?
  2. Counter BalanceReport Reveals Corrupt but Legal Practices in Development Finance
  3. Swedish EnterprisesMEPs and Business Representatives Debated on the Future of the EU at the Winter Mingle
  4. ACCASets Out Fifty Key Factors in the Public Sector Accountants Need to Prepare for
  5. UNICEFSchool “as Vital as Food and Medicine” for Children Caught up in Conflict
  6. European Jewish CongressEJC President Breathes Sigh of Relief Over Result of Austrian Presidential Election
  7. CESICongress Re-elects Klaus Heeger & Romain Wolff as Secretary General & President
  8. European Gaming & Betting AssociationAustrian Association for Betting and Gambling Joins EGBA
  9. ACCAWomen of Europe Awards: Celebrating the Women who are Building Europe
  10. European Heart NetworkWhat About our Kids? Protect Children From Unhealthy Food and Drink Marketing
  11. ECR GroupRestoring Trust and Confidence in the European Parliament
  12. UNICEFChild Rights Agencies Call on EU to put Refugee and Migrant Children First