EU report hammers Jerusalem settlements, calls for sanctions
By Hazel Ward, AFPJERUSALEM--Israel's construction in east Jerusalem is a deliberate strategy to prevent the city from becoming capital of two states, an internal EU report found Wednesday, urging members to block funding for any settlement activities.
February 28, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
In its Jerusalem Report 2012, a copy of which was seen by AFP, the European Union said Jewish settlement construction posed “the biggest single threat to the two-state solution.”
And it outlined a series of recommendations urging member states to halt or avoid any financial investment or transactions which could directly or indirectly feed into Israel's settlement-building enterprise — in an effective call for economic sanctions.
Written by the EU heads of mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the strongly worded report described Israel's settlement construction in east Jerusalem as “systematic, deliberate and provocative,” accusing the Jewish state of making deliberate political choices that threaten to render the two-state solution impossible.
An Israel spokesman dismissed the report, saying it showed that the Europeans had failed in their diplomatic mission.
“A diplomat's mission is to build bridges and not to encourage confrontation,” foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP. “These consuls have failed in their diplomatic mission.”
But the Palestinians hailed the report, with senior official Hanan Ashrawi saying it was a “responsible assessment” of Israeli actions in east Jerusalem.
“It is ringing an alarm concerning the destructive nature of the Israeli policies and its dangerous implications for peace,” she said.