Israeli diplomatic sources on Thursday slammed another EU internal report highly
critical of Israeli policies, saying it will make the Europeans “feel good about
themselves” but have no affect on the ground.
The sources also criticized
the authors of the report for not turning to Jerusalem for any input.RELATED:Peace Now: 1,577 settlement tenders issued in 2011US, UN, EU condemn ‘accelerated’ W. Bank Jewish building
document, titled “Area C and Palestinian State Building,” was leaked to the
press and concluded, according to a report on Thursday in The Independent
a range of Israeli actions in Area C of the West Bank “continuously undermined”
the Palestinian population and was “closing the window” for reaching a two-state
The Oslo Accords divided the West Bank into three areas of
civil and security control.
While Areas A and B fall under various levels
of Palestinian control, Israel maintains full control over Area C, which
represents some 62 percent of the territory, but is mostly rural and includes
only 6% of the Palestinian population.
Saying that the Jewish population
in Area C was increasing due to settlement activities and that the Palestinian
population was decreasing due to bureaucratic and security measures, the
document stated that “if current trends are not stopped and reversed, the
establishment of a viable Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders seems more
remote than ever.”
“At a certain point, the Europeans are going to have
to engage Israel, and not only the Palestinians, when they write these reports,”
one Israeli source said in response. “It’s as if Israel does not exist, does not
have its own version of events, reality, reasons, policy, or policy-making
The source was scathing in his criticism of the methodology
used in drawing up the report. It consisted of the EU and the Palestinians
talking to themselves and then coming to conclusions that were belied by the
situation on the ground, he said. The source cited as an example the report’s
assertion that Israel was harming Palestinian water resources.
document, drawn up by the heads of EU country missions in Jerusalem and
Ramallah, called for increased European support for the “ever more isolated”
Palestinians in Area C, which includes most of the Jordan Valley. It said there
were now 150,000 Palestinians living there, as opposed to 200,000 to 320,000 who
lived in the Jordan Valley before 1967. The report put the Jewish population in
Area C at 310,000.
The document, according to the Independent
that the EU support the building of infrastructure in the area for the
Palestinians, call on Israel to halt the demolition of Palestinian building
taking place there without permits, and be more assertive in objecting to
“involuntary population movements, displacements, evictions and internal
The document followed by just a few weeks another internal EU
paper that infuriated Jerusalem, this one saying that the EU should engage with
Israel over its treatment of its Israeli Arab minority.
sources in Jerusalem pointed out that these papers and documents did not
represent EU policy, but rather reflected ideas that were later discussed in
Brussels, but often not implemented as official EU positions. The importance of
these documents, one source said, was that they provided a window into what
European diplomats involved with the issue were thinking.
December the Foreign Ministry harshly reproved criticism of settlement
activities articulated in a statement put out by the EU’s four members on the UN
Security Council: Britain, France, Germany and Portugal. By focusing on Israel
instead of larger problems in the Middle East, the ministry said, the European
powers were “bound to lose their credibility and make themselves
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.