The government should ban European Union-funded projects in Area C of the West Bank until the EU rescinds its new policies against areas across the pre- 1967 lines, the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip said on Tuesday.
“All European projects [for Palestinians] in Judea and Samaria should be stopped until this unilateral decision is rescinded,” the council stated.
It was one of a number of calls by settler and rightwing organizations that urged the government to take a no-holds-barred approach to combating the EU’s anti-settlement stance.
Gush Etzion Regional Council head David Perl called on Israel to annex Area C.
“Now is the time for the prime minister to stand up and apply Israeli law on territory that is part of our homeland, and in so doing fix an ongoing historical distortion,” Perl said.
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel urged the government immediately to pass the Edmund Levy report, which says that Israel has a right under international law to settle in the West Bank.
“The right answer to the EU is the immediate implementation of the Edmund Levy report to clarify to the Europeans and others that it is not our policy to weaken our legal and historic right to the land,” the forum said.
Settlers were blasting the EU on Tuesday in response to new European Commission guidelines, published on June 30, that Israeli governmental and non-governmental entities over the pre-1967 lines were not eligible for EU grants, prizes or funding. The guidelines followed a December 10 decision by the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which said that all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU were not applicable over the pre-1967 lines.
The EU has consistently refused to recognize Israel beyond the pre- 1967 lines, also known as the Green Line, and as such the move has little pragmatic impact for West Bank settlements and institutions situated there. They were not eligible for EU grants and funding before, and they are still not eligible.
But the EU’s strong policy statement against West Bank settlements, made for the second time in less than a year, has a diplomatic impact on its relationship with Israel, and underscores the extent to which it considers Israeli areas over the pre-1967 lines to be illegal and illegitimate.
In particular, based on the December 10 decision, new language explaining that the EU does not recognize territory over the pre- 1967 lines will now be included in any future agreements with Israel.
The Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip said it was upset that policy statements about this had become public on Tisha Be’av, the traditional day of mourning for the destruction of the Temple 2,000 years ago.
“Europe has not learned from its history. On the ninth of Av, Europe returns to its policy of boycott and separation against the State of Israel,” the council said. It added that this kind of unqualified support for the Palestinian Authority had turned the …read more