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EU threatens Israel with economic and diplomatic sanctions

The European Union has threatened to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions against Israel if it does not resume peace talks with the Palestinians. According to Yedioth Ahranoth newspaper, the international community has renewed its interest in the Palestinian issue with EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini scheduled to arrive in Tel Aviv next week to meet with senior Israeli officials before visiting Ramallah to meet with senior Palestinians.

Mogherini will report on the results of her discussions at the EU foreign ministers’ conference to be held in ten days’ time. Several European foreign ministers will visit the region this month, including Norway’s Borge Brende and Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

The EU has often voiced its belief that Israel is mainly responsible for resuming the peace talks and should bear the consequences if the process does not go ahead. “The development of relations between the EU and both Israel and the Palestinians is linked to the extent of their commitment to the peace process,” insists Brussels.

Some diplomatic circles believe that the EU has prepared a list of sanctions to be imposed on Israel based on a request from the EU parliament and Mogherini; debate about the issue has been delayed until after Mogherini’s visit.

Following the recent formation of Israel’s new coalition government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, several international bodies have expressed their pessimism about the future of the peace process and even the two-state solution. US President Barack Obama has said that the new Israeli ministers do not believe in the two-state solution, and that achieving peace seems to have become a remote possibility.

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