Tuesday

28th Feb 2017

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.

EU leaks on Jerusalem not enough, campaigner says

A leading activist against the expansion of Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem has castigated the EU practice of leaking reports and issuing statement after statement instead of taking action against Israel.

EU and US criticise Israel ahead of UN showdown

The EU, Russia, the US and the UN have spoken out against Israel's decision to create more houses for Jews on Palestinian land ahead of a UN vote on Palestine's future.

Opinion

Europe awakens to Palestinian realities

With Ashton in Israel this week and with fresh EU reports on the realities of Israeli occupation, Europe should not squander its opportunity to build better relations with the rapidly changing Arab world.

News in Brief

  1. Le Pen party in new EU fraud allegations
  2. May to end rights of EU nationals after Article 50 triggered
  3. Nato warns against Armenia-Azerbaijan 'escalation'
  4. EU: No military solution to Nagorno-Karabakh war
  5. EU adopts visa-free brake mechanism
  6. Trump and Brexit drew on same resources
  7. Romanian protestors form EU flag at anti-government rally
  8. Over 3,500 attacks on refugees in Germany: report

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFA Deadly Journey for Children: The Migration Route From North Africa to Europe
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsFreedom of Association and Expression Under Threat in Kazakhstan
  3. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Brussels on March 6th
  4. EURORDISJoin Rare Disease Day and Help Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  6. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  7. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  8. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  9. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  10. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  11. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  12. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen