'EU report says Israel undermining two-states'

Internal report advocates pressuring Israel to change status of its approach to West Bank's Area C, 'The Independent' reports.

January 12, 2012 11:51
1 minute read.
A settlement in the Jordan Valley [illustrative]

Jordan valley settlement 311. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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An internal European Union report says that a range of Israeli actions in Area C of the West Bank undermines the area's Palestinian population, thereby contributing to the "closing [of] the window" for reaching a two-state solution, according to a report in the London-based The Independent Thursday.

Saying that the Jewish population in Area C is increasing due to settlement activities and that the Palestinian population is decreasing due to various bureaucratic and security measures, the document reportedly warns that "if current trends are not stopped and reversed, the establishment of a viable Palestinian state within pre-1967 borders seem more remote than ever," The Independent reported.

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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.

According to The Independent and Israeli media reports, the document also reportedly advocates increased European support for Palestinians in Area C, who it described as "ever more isolated." The EU authors described a need to put political pressure on Jerusalem to redefine the arrangements in Area C, according to the reports.

Late last year, Israel harshly rejected criticism of its settlement activities levied against it by Britain, France, Germany and Portugal at the United Nations. A Foreign Ministry statement at the time suggested that UN Security Council members - and the EU states on it - would be better served concentrating their condemnation on the violence in Syria and Iran's nuclear program.

By focusing on Israel instead of larger problems in the Middle East, the ministry added, the European powers "are bound to lose their credibility and make themselves irrelevant."

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