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Euro-Med to EU: Stop funds for project serving Israeli settlements

Israeli settlers spray racist slogans in East Jerusalem on 1 April 2019 [Safa Agency]
Israeli settlers spray racist slogans in East Jerusalem on 1 April 2019 [Safa Agency]

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) sent an urgent letter to the European Union’s European Commission regarding their participation in funding EuroAsia Interconnector, a power transmission project aiming to build the infrastructure necessary to link energy sources between Israel, Cyprus, and Greece, Ma’an News reports.

The project, expected to be implemented in June 2019 with an estimated budget of €3.5 billion ($3.9 billion), will not only link the electricity infrastructure between Israeli cities with Greece and Cyprus, however, will also include illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, including occupied East Jerusalem.

According to a Euro-Med press release, the EU has been labeled as one of the financiers and supporters of the project that nurtures and strengthens settlements built illegally on Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Jerusalem, a move that shows sheer disregard for international law and amounts to complicity in Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity.

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Audrey Ferdinand, Euro-Med’s legal researcher, said, “The EU must adhere to its legal obligations under international law, including by not violating its own long-held commitment to a two-state solution.”

Ferdinand stressed, “While Israel is working on projects to boost its energy sources, it denies Palestinians access to basic needs such as energy and clean water,” calling on the EU to “respect its international obligations and not to establish partnerships with states violating international human rights law and international humanitarian law for decades.”

Euro-Med expressed deep shock and surprise at the contradictory policies and non-neutral practices of the European Union. On the one hand, it funds projects to help Palestinians suffering under occupation, it also funds projects that serve Israeli settlers, calling the move as setting for a “double-standard logic.”

Euro-Med called on the European Union to seriously reconsider its policies that are biased to the Israeli authorities at the expense of the Palestinian people, to uphold its human rights obligations and to rise above the discourse of selfish interest, to stop the project, especially as Israel continues to expand its illegal settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and not reward them for such infamous record of human rights abuse.

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