A copy of a report written by EU heads of mission in Jerusalem and
Ramallah condemns recent Israeli
settlement building and recommends that EU member states place economic
sanctions on settlements, AFP reported on Wdnesday.
The report referred to Israel's settlement
construction in east Jerusalem as "systematic, deliberate and
provocative" and stated that Jewish settlement construction was "the biggest
single threat to the two state solution."
The report singled
out as problematic Israeli development in the Jerusalem neighborhoods of
Har Homa, Gilo, and Givat Hamatos, as well as Israeli settlement plans
in the area known as E1. According to the report, settlement in E1 results
in cutting the West Bank in half and in the "forcible transfer of 2,300
The report suggests prevention of financial
transactions with and foreign direct investments to settlements and
further suggests that EU states should "ensure that imports of
settlement products do not benefit from preferential tariffs."
November, the government gave a green light to zoning and planning of
thousands of housing units in the area known as E1 which lies between
Jerusalem and Ma’aleh Adumim. Israel's announcement to develop E1 was
seen as a response to the UN approving the Palestinian bid
for non-member observer state status.
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton slammed Israel’s announcement
regarding E1 and additional construction in the settlements, saying she
was “extremely worried by the prospects of settlement expansion on such a
“The reaction of the international community to any such
decision is likely also to be influenced by the extent to which such
expansion may represent a strategic step undermining the prospects of a
contiguous and viable Palestine with Jerusalem as the shared capital of
both it and Israel.” Herb Keinon contributed to this report.