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EU looking to set five 'red lines' regarding Israeli settlements

October 22, 2014 at 1:34 pm

The European Union is looking into the possibility of setting five “red lines” to warn Israel from continuing its settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to an internal EU document obtained by Haaretz newspaper.

Haaretz revealed on Wednesday that, according to the document, the EU’s proposed red lines would include:

First, any construction in the Givat Hamatos neighbourhood south of occupied Jerusalem beyond the Green Line is a red line, because construction in that area would jeopardise the possibility of a contiguous Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.

The second red line is any construction in the E1 area between Ma’aleh Adumim and occupied Jerusalem, as settlements in this area would also jeopardise the possibility of a contiguous and independent Palestinian state.

The document deemed further construction in the Har Homa settlement in occupied Jerusalem beyond the Green Line to be the third red line.

The fourth red line is executing Israel’s plans to relocate 12,000 Bedouin without their consent to a new town in the Jordan Valley, expelling them from lands in the occupied West Bank, including E1.

And finally, the fifth red line is further attempts by Israel to harm the status quo at Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied Jerusalem.

According to Haaretz, after Israel’s appropriation of 4,000 dunams in Gush Etzion in the occupied West Bank, and plans for additional construction in Givat Hamatos in occupied Jerusalem, “a series of discussions have been taking place in the EU’s headquarters in Brussels between the ambassadors of the 28 members states over the European response.”

The newspaper added that, “Officials in the Israeli Foreign Ministry are concerned the negotiations are a prelude to further European sanctions against Israel.”

“The EU’s ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen, is set to relay the message to Israel. He is expected to meet in the coming days with Foreign Ministry Director Nissim Ben Sheetrit and with national security advisor in the Prime Minister’s Office Yossi Cohen to propose negotiations over the issues which raised the EU’s concerns,” Haaretz reported.

However, European officials stressed to the newspaper that the red lines “have yet to be fully defined, if at all,” as well as what would be “the repercussions for crossing them”.