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EU freezes cooperation with Israel Police

Israeli police officers stand guard after Israeli security forces and emergency personnel carried away a Palestinian man, who was shot after he reportedly committed a stabbing attack, in the flashpoint neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli police officers stand guard after Israeli security forces and emergency personnel carried away a Palestinian man, who was shot after he reportedly committed a stabbing attack, in the flashpoint neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem [Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency]

Israel's Haaretz newspaper reported that the EU has froze cooperation with Israeli police over fears of the incoming government's policies.

Last September, the two parties signed a draft agreement to improve the transfer of intelligence between Israel and EU member states in order to prevent crime and terrorism, but it requires the approval of the European Parliament.

Haaretz quoted unnamed informed sources in Tel Aviv saying: "The European Union informed the Israeli ambassador to the organization that it will not continue to advance the draft agreement for intelligence cooperation between the Israel Police and the Europol Agency."

According to the newspaper, Regev was informed of the agreement freezing last Friday.

Israeli officials told the newspaper that the decision is the first European sign that the change in Israeli policy in the West Bank will "compromise" cooperation with the EU.

One official said: "There's pressure to be less forgiving with Israel, now that the government is changing."

The signed draft agreement was presented to European Parliament members after the results of the Israeli election in November were announced.

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On Monday, the head of the department for law enforcement cooperations in the EU, Rob Rosenberg, said the final agreement may "include slight exceptions in case of material threats and the need to protect civilian populations."

In accordance with international law, the EU considers the West Bank occupied territory and calls on Israel to stop settlement activity in it.

According to the newspaper, the agreement is expected to include a clause forbiting Israel from using any information it receives from Europe in the territories occupied in 1967.

Haaretz reported that "in recent years, Israel has led to the thwarting of a series of terror attack on European soil through intelligence it provided, whereas intelligence provided by Europe has often aided in combatting organized crime in Israel."

There are regional and international fears from the Israeli government that the head of the Likud Party, Benjamin Netanyahu, intends to form, as it includes memberss of the far-right who are being appointed to sensitive security positions according to coalition agreements, including control over the Israeli occupation's security forces in the West Bank.

READ: Israel to finalise deportation of French-Palestinian lawyer

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