Thursday

28th Jul 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.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleHelping Emergency Services Find You When You Need It Most
  2. Counter BalanceWhat's New in the Investment Plan for Europe: Business as Usual or True Innovation ?
  3. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event 2016
  4. GoogleHow Google Fights Piracy: Creating Value While Fighting Piracy
  5. EJC"My Visit to Israel" - Opinion by MEP Lopez Aguilar, Chair of the EP Working Group on Antisemitism
  6. World VisionChildren Migrating, Out of School and at Work as Hunger Deepens in Southern Africa
  7. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStand-Up (and Exercise) to Prevent Chronic Diseases
  8. Centre Maurits CoppietersLaunches a Real-time News Hub Specialised in EU Stakeholders
  9. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen Calls for International Probe Into Turkey Coup Allegations
  10. GoogleEU-US Privacy Shield: Restoring Faith in Data Flows and Transatlantic Relations
  11. World VisionWorld Leaders & Youth Advocates Launch Partnership to End Violence Vs. Children
  12. Counter BalanceReport: Institutionalised Corruption in Romania's Third Largest Company