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Israelis officials: European Union is preparing to impose sanctions on settlements

February 11, 2015 at 9:21 am

Israeli officials, who recently visited European foreign ministries and the headquarters of the European Union (EU) in Brussels, said that the EU is preparing to impose severe sanctions on the Israeli settlements that would go into effect following the Knesset public elections, scheduled for the middle of next month.

The Israeli electronic site, Walla, quoted yesterday those officials as saying that the European actions will include an emphasis on “the illegality of settlements under the international law” without taking the Israeli measurements and considerations into account; such as the distinction between settlements located within the settlement blocs and those located outside them.

The same officials added that “the approach the EU is adopting is based on deepening and highlighting the absolute distinction between Israel within the Green Line and Israel beyond the Green Line. They are talking about sanctions against companies that are operating beyond the border (i.e. in the occupied West Bank), support of Palestinian judicial actions related to settlements, and the re-launch of the proposal regarding the establishment of a Palestinian state through the UN Security Council. ”

The Israeli officials added, “The starting point in Europe will be after the elections, after an Israeli right-wing government is formed, when it would be easier for them to further push these steps.”

They stressed that these steps “are not led by junior staff, but rather all of the EU states who are involved in this process and allow for it to move forward, in addition, it has been reviewed by all senior officials in Brussels.”

They explained that “the elections have succeeded in postponing these steps for two reasons; firstly; they did not want to be seen as those interfering, and secondly; because some of the EU states were hoping that the negotiations with the Palestinians would resume after the elections. But now that a similar scenario seems nearly impossible, they are planning to escalate their actions.”

The Israeli officials pointed out that in parallel with the European collective actions, a number of states are considering taking independent steps, such as re-discussing the establishment of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders in the UN Security Council.

Estimates in Israel show that France, for example, could present such a proposal and that the United States would not try to prevent it as it did last time. It is also expected that the US, in this scenario, would refrain from using the veto, especially against the backdrop of the deep crisis in relations between the US President Barack Obama and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.