The European Union has confirmed that projects in Israeli settlements built on occupied Palestinian land will no longer qualify for EU funding.
Israel’s prime minister has condemned the move, saying it meddles in bilateral Palestinian relations.
“As the Prime Minister of Israel, I will not allow hundreds of thousands of Israelis who live in Judea and Samaria, the Golan Heights and in Jerusalem – our united capital – to be harmed. We will not accept any external edicts about our borders,” said Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister
Maja Kocijancica, a spokesperson for the EU Commission, defended their position: “Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and also with the position that I already mention, with the non-recognition by the European Union of Israel sovereignty over the occupied territories,” she said.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian official said: “Israel should listen very carefully, and should understand that this occupation cannot continue without any kind of accountability, and with nothing but profit for Israel and nothing to lose. It is time that the whole world treats the Israeli occupation this way, and it is time that Israel reaches the conclusion that it has to leave the Palestinians alone.”
The settlements, built on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war, keep growing. Many see this as an obstacle to the peace process.