View of Jerusalem Old City, Arab man_311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
A confidential European Union report urges member states to do more to cut their
financial ties with Jewish neighborhoods of east Jerusalem as well as with its
European missions in east Jerusalem and Ramallah penned the
report, which was leaked Monday to the media, to provide information and
recommendations for EU policy-making bodies, particularly the EU’s Political and
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Critical EU paper draws fire from Israeli officials
It warned that Israeli “settlement activity” in east
Jerusalem increasingly undermines the two-state solution.
called for the EU to increase its financial restrictions on Israeli activity in
east Jerusalem, including proposing “appropriate EU legislation to
prevent/discourage financial transactions in support of settlement activity [in
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor attacked the
report, which he said was compiled annually without consultation with
“These reports include unfeasible recommendations,” he said. He
noted that each year the EU discusses it at a technical level and then rejects
the recommendations, he said.
To prevent the report from being ignored,
the EU offices in Jerusalem and Ramallah try to raise its tone, he
“When that does not work, they leak it to the media,” Palmor
The office of the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said
it regretted that the report had been leaked to the media.
It noted that
all EU delegations send a report about their host countries to Brussels to
assist in the policy-making process.
“The EU does not recognize the
Israeli annexation of east Jerusalem,” Ashton’s office said.
“If there is
to be a genuine peace, a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the
status of Jerusalem as a future capital of two states,” her office
It added that the EU has already called for Palestinian
institutions to be reopened and for the Israeli government to cease its
discriminatory treatment of Palestinians.
But the report noted that the
EU must increase its activity against Israel’s presence in east
In specific, it called on the EU to stop funding Israeli
activity in east Jerusalem, including ensuring that Israeli products
manufactured in Jewish areas of east Jerusalem do not benefit from preferential
treatment under the EUIsrael association agreement.
these products should also be given to major EU retailers, the report
EU citizens should be informed of the financial risks involved in
buying east Jerusalem property, the report said.
should be compiled to prevent European tour operators from supporting
“settlement business” in east Jerusalem, the report stated.
suggested that the EU should avoid using Israeli security when high-ranking
officials visit the Old City and east Jerusalem.
In addition, the report
suggested that the EU should take more steps to strengthen Palestinian political
and civilian life in east Jerusalem.
EU missions should host Palestinian
officials when senior Europeans visit, the report said. Palestinian civic events
should be held in EU facilities until Palestinian institutions are reopened, it
The report further suggested that the EU must take a more active
role in ensuring that Palestinian rights are upheld, including ensuring that
Palestinian housing is included in east Jerusalem urban master-plans.
officials should raise the lack of adequate emergency services for east
Jerusalem Palestinians such as ambulances and fire-fighting and police services
in meetings with Israeli officials, the report said.
An EU official
should be present during the demolition of Palestinian homes or if there are
court cases on these demolitions, the report suggested.
The EU should
intervene “when Palestinians are arrested or intimidated by Israeli authorities
for peaceful, cultural, social or political activities in east Jerusalem,” the