In the wake of the release of new anti-Israel European Commission guidelines regarding cooperation with the Jewish state in Judea and Samaria, and in light of the resumption of direct negotiations between the State of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli Government Press Office said it would bring foreign journalists on a visit to the disputed area.
The trip to Samaria (Area C), scheduled for next Monday on a bullet-proof bus, will include opportunities to interview Arab management personnel and workers, as well as professors at Ariel University, which has 500 Arab students, to learn about the newest research on co-existence in the region.
In Barkan, a major industrial park that employs 3,000 Arabs and 3,000 Jews working side by side in 140 factories, the group will visit the Lipski factory, one of the largest producers of plastic sanitary and plumbing products, meet the CEO of the factory, Yehuda Cohen, and Rasheed Mrar, assembly manager at Lipski.
At Ariel University, Prof. Yehuda Danon, president of the school, will address the journalists, the government said.
Afterwards, the group will meet with Danny Dayan, chief foreign envoy of the Yesha council, and with senior Palestinian businessmen invited for the occasion.
Miri Maoz-Ovadia, international liaison for the Binyamin Regional Council, will also be among the tour leaders.
Two weeks ago, the EU issued the directive, disclosed last week, requiring all 28 European member states to ban all funding, collaboration, scholarships, research grants and awards to Israeli entities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The rule also requires that any future agreements signed with Israel must include a clause stating that the settlements are not part of the sovereign State of Israel and therefore are not part of said agreement. The directive becomes active in 2014.