Jordan valley settlement 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
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.
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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.
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
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."