News / Middle East

Israel Blocks EU Aid to West Bank Palestinians

Israeli police check Palestinians waiting to cross an Israeli checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem. July 26, 2013.
Israeli police check Palestinians waiting to cross an Israeli checkpoint between the West Bank city of Ramallah and Jerusalem. July 26, 2013.
Reuters
Israel has blocked the European Union from aiding tens of thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank in retaliation for Brussels' ban on financial assistance to Israeli organizations in the occupied territories.

An Israeli official said on Friday the move was a result of the EU decision “to sanction or boycott the settlements”.

“From our standpoint we cannot just ignore this or treat spitting in our face as though it is rain,” the official said.

The EU imposed restrictions last week citing its frustration over the continued expansion of Jewish settlements in territory captured by Israeli forces in the 1967 Middle East War.

The guidelines render Israeli entities operating there ineligible for EU grants, prizes or loans, beginning next year.

Settler leaders say the aid they receive from Europe is minimal. But many in Israel worry about possible knock-on effects the EU steps may have on individuals or companies based in Israel that might be involved in business in the settlements, deemed illegal by the international community.

The Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon had decided to suspend contacts with the EU in the West Bank.

Yaalon, a former army chief and hardliner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party, has “frozen projects, canceled meetings, curtailed coordination and permits for Europe's operations” for Palestinians living in what is known as Area C, a West Bank area fully administered by Israel, he said.

The EU expressed concern about the Israeli steps, which may hurt its humanitarian work for Palestinians, an EU source in Israel told Reuters.

The organization had not been formally notified of the Israeli measures and was seeking clarification, he said.

A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said several European humanitarian aid staff had had difficulty obtaining permits and some requests had gone unanswered.

Under the terms of a 1993 interim peace accord, some 150,000 Palestinians, many of then poor farmers and shepherds living in Area C, a West Bank zone where many settlements have been built, are fully under Israeli military control,

The Palestinians have limited self-rule over other parts of the West Bank, and share joint custody with Israel over yet other areas.

Some of Europe's assistance in the West Bank goes to Palestinians whose homes built with EU funding are demolished by Israel, often maintaining the structures were built illegally.

The Association of International Development Agencies, a coalition of 80 aid groups, said in a report in May that 600 settler houses had been built since mid-2012 while Israel demolished 535 Palestinian-owned homes and structures.

The United States, Israel's main backer, has been trying to revive peace talks that have been deadlocked for three years and aimed at reaching an agreement for the Palestinians to establish a state alongside Israel.

You May Like

Hostage Crisis Could Divide Japan Over Plans to Boost Military

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Monday the government is working closely with the Jordanian government to secure the release of remaining Japanese hostage Kenji Goto More

Video Brussels Shaken as New Greek Leader Challenges Europe’s Austerity Drive

Country's youngest ever PM Alexis Tsipras, 40, sworn in Monday and says he will restore dignity to Greece by ending spending cuts More

Multimedia National Geographic Photo Camps Empower Youth

Annual mentoring program's mission is to give young people a voice to tell their own stories through photography More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Tom from: Jerusalem
July 29, 2013 12:58 PM
The settlements are as illegal as Turkish occupation if northern Cyprus, Morrocan occupation of the west African territory and the list goes on. The hateful hypocrites of Brussels are as arrogant as they are ignorant.


by: Ari Maayan from: USA
July 26, 2013 2:40 PM
Hee Hee. Turn about is fairplay

In Response

by: bruce from: USA
July 28, 2013 1:38 AM
TonyBellchambers from: London. You are skating the point of my post. Many EU countries are claiming ownership of massive areas of populated lands all over the globe.France recently rounded up hundreds of thousands of people of Romanian descent and kicked them out. Many had lived in France for multiple generations.Wheres the European outrage!!! Europe is violating there own so-called human rights laws and using Israeli as a diversion. To try to make a case the twelve tribes of Israel don't have the right to go back to there ancient homeland is just silly.What right do EU countries have claiming lands and territories all over the globe.It was ancient Europe that attacked and destroyed ancient Israel in the first place "and" in the 40's tried to finish the job by exterminating the entire European Jewish population of Europe. Once again,What historic right do EU countries have claiming lands and territories all over the globe? This has nothing to do with Palestinians today however, before Adolf Hitler and Mussolini decided to murder the entire Jewish population of Europe, The Grand Mufti of Palestine backed by most Arab nations paid Adolf Hitler a visit. The Islamic Nazi pact failed and, the entire Arab world refused to accept the UN mandate.The Arabs attacked, they lost. The surviving Jews from Europe and Arab countries went to Israel. Over 1 million Jews were forced from Arab countries and after multiple wars the Arab countries left the Palestinians to fend for themselves. Frankly, most of Europe's Aristocracy was involved in supporting the Nazi's and they are still using Europe's media system to create anti-semitism towards Jews and you are to blind to see it.The Palestinians are arguing with the Israeli government about 3G phones service and next door in Syria Assad is running his own people with a lawn mower and has killed over 100,000 civilians in two years. There is all this rage against Israel in Europe about the perceived injustice against Palestinian's and right under your nose you have an aristocracy stealing your money which is a clear form of oppression and rampant government sponsored racial discrimination all over Europe!!Just a few months ago the Church of Scotland posted that Jews have no right to go to Israel.I am not sure what book they are reading or not reading but The Bible is clear and I suggest You empty your cup and open your eyes.
Ezekiel 37:1-14
11 Then he said to me: “Son of man, these bones are the people of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope is gone; we are cut off.’ 12 Therefore prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: My people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them; I will bring you back to the land of Israel. 13 Then you, my people, will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. 14 I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land. Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord.’”
_________
Good luck Tony

In Response

by: Bruce from: USA
July 27, 2013 1:22 PM
With the EU in economic crisis,Greece and Ireland in financial collapse and, the UAE members like Saudi Arabia floating on a sea of oil and amassed wealth not seen in most of human history,"why" is Europe sending money and not these wealthy Arab countries???
I do not get this,EU countries claim land and territories all over the globe and have held on to them with military force against there indigenous population. The Faulkland Islands are a perfect example. Even the Koran says the land of Canaan belongs to the 12 tribes of Israel.Not to say, the Palestinians got the bum act.But the truth is, war after war without Arab compromise left about 1 million middle Eastern Jews expelled from Arab nations and welcomed to Israel and a million Palestinians in camps unwelcome in other Arab "brother" countries. Today, Israel is 25,000 square miles 1/5 the land of Canaan and 30% Muslim. On the other hand, the Arab nations represent 5 million square miles "and" in a large part of it Christians and Jews have run screaming for their lives even in the last few years towards the border of many of these countries.

In Response

by: TonyBellchambers from: London
July 27, 2013 3:42 AM


There is only one answer to these moves by the Israeli government that are intended to humiliate the EU.

That is for the European Union Commission to immediately take the initial steps to ABROGATE THE EU-ISRAEL ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT that gives he state of Israel access rights to trade with the 28 EU member states.

All bi-lateral trade should cease forthwith until such time as the Israeli state honours the human rights provisions of the agreement of which it is in gross breach. That MUST include the dismantling of all illegal settlements and the repatriation of all settlers back to their original homes in Israel.

Palestinian land that has a history going back over 1000 years must be returned to its rightful owners in accordance with the will of the United Nations, the European Union and the International Court.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid