Tuesday, July 16, 2013
EU: agreements with Israel have to exclude East-Jerusalem and settlements
The European Union has banned its 28 member states from signing agreements with Israel without an explicit exclusion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank or East Jerusalem, in a directive described by an Israeli official as an "earthquake".
The EU guidelines, adopted on 30 June, will prohibit the issuing of grants, funding, prizes or scholarships unless a settlement exclusion clause is included. Israeli institutions and bodies situated across the pre-1967 Green Line will be automatically ineligible.
The Israeli government will be required to state in any future agreements with the EU that settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are outside the state of Israel.
The binding directive, part of the 2014-20 financial framework, covers all areas of co-operation between the EU and Israel, including economics, science, culture, sports and academia. It does not cover trade, such as produce and goods originating in settlements.
An EU statement said the guidelines "set out the territorial limitations under which the commission will award EU support to Israeli entities … Concern has been expressed in Europe that Israeli entities in the occupied territories could benefit from EU support. The purpose of these guidelines is to make a distinction between the state of Israel and the occupied territories when it comes to EU support."
The move follows a decision by EU foreign ministers last December that "all agreements between the state of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967". All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law. (Read here the rest of the article)
It was about time.