Friday

19th Jan 2018

EU threatens action against Israeli settlers

  • More than 500,000 settlers have come to live in the West Bank since Israel conquered the territory in 1967 (Photo: Rosie Gabrielle)

The EU has threatened to take action against settlers after Israel backed the building of 1,466 more Jewish homes on Palestinian land in the West Bank.

EU countries said in a joint communique on Thursday (5 June) the move is “unhelpful to peace efforts” and called on Israel to “reverse the decision”.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

They added that if it doesn't, they will “act accordingly” and “fully and effectively implement existing legislation in relation to settlements”.

The threat refers to plans to publish a code of conduct for EU retailers on how to label settler-made products - a move likely to fuel consumer boycotts and to harm Israel’s image.

It is part of a tougher new approach which EU diplomats say the US endorses.

The US state department also on Thursday said: “We’re deeply disappointed; again, difficult to understand how these [settlements] contribute to peace.”

Israel announced the new housing units as a price tag for Palestine’s formation of a unity government.

The government is backed by Palestine’s two main political factions, Fatah and Hamas, which used to be bitter rivals. But it is composed of technocrats and does not contain anyone from Hamas, which the EU and US call a “terrorist” entity because it advocates armed resistance.

The EU and US earlier this week snubbed Israel by saying they will work with the new Palestinian cabinet.

Israel’s housing minister, Uri Ariel, himself a far-right settler, said the new housing units come because "when Israel is spat upon, it has to do something about it".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Hamas is a terrorist organisation that calls for Israel's destruction, and the international community must not embrace it".

He has also said he supports a two-state solution and freed dozens of Palestinian prisoners in recent peace talks. But at the same time, he endorsed the building of 14,000 new settler homes, prompting the talks to break down.

“The fact settlement activity increased after the peace talks were launched last July shows it was a political decision,” the EU’s envoy in Jerusalem, John Gat-Rutter, recently told EUobserver.

“It’s quite obvious that the issue on [product] labelling will come even more to the forefront if the kind of settlement expansion that we have seen in the recent year continues in the future,” the EU’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, said.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects
  2. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersOresund Inspires Other EU Border Regions to Work Together to Generate Growth
  4. Mission of China to the EUTrade Between China, Belt and Road Countries up 15%
  5. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  6. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  7. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  9. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  10. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  11. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  12. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted

Latest News

  1. EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems
  2. UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain
  3. Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May
  4. Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names
  5. EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week
  6. Nato prepares to take in Macedonia
  7. Taking full benefit of supercomputers in Europe
  8. Spitzenkandidat system 'difficult to get rid of', hopes lead MEP