Tag Archives: West Bank

EU diplomacy discusses Israeli-Palestinian conflict

EU ministers of foreign affairs today on May 15 held a video conference, chaired by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell.

They had an in-depth discussion on the Middle East Peace Process. The resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a priority and in the strategic interest of the European Union.

Josep Borrell first had a comprehensive discussion on the Middle East Peace Process in the context of the formation of a new government in Israel. Ministers expressed their willingness to work comprehensively and constructively with the new government once it is sworn in, but also reaffirmed their support for a negotiated two state solution.

Foreign affairs ministers also had a discussion on the Southern Neighbourhood and situation in the wider Middle East, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. In this context ministers expressed their concern about the socio-economic fallout of the pandemic, and agreed that the current crisis is an opportunity to reflect on the EU’s relations with the region in the medium and long term.

Then ministers approved a statement about the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Israel strengthens ties with Baltic Republics

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his visit in Lithuania, saying he hoped to deepen ties with eastern EU nations as Brussels blasted Israel’s plans for fresh settlements in the West Bank.

Dozens of Pro-Palestinian activists waved Palestinian flags and chanted that Netanyahu was “not welcome” while railing against Lithuania‘s ties with Israel outside government buildings in the capital Vilnius, where he held talks with his Lithuanian counterpart Saulius Skvernelis.

Netanyahu thanked Skvernelis for the “strong position you’ve taken in forums of the EU on behalf of truth, on behalf of Israel, on behalf of decency“.

Israel is often mistreated by the EU in Brussels, there are many distortions that are levelled at us, and it is refreshing to see that you take a stand of clarity, of truth and of courage, and we discussed how that can be expanded,Netanyahu added.

Israel approved plans for more than 1,000 settlement homes in the occupied West Bank prompting EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic to say that the bloc was “strongly opposed” to Israel’s “illegal” settlement policy, calling it “an obstacle to peace”.

The settlements “would further jeopardise the prospect of a contiguous and viable future Palestinian state,”  Kocijancic continued.

Netanyahu said he wanted “to achieve a balance in the European Union’s not always friendly relations with Israel” ahead of the the first-ever visit by an Israeli premier to Lithuania.

Israeli PM will meet the leaders of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in Vilnius  during the visit, which is set to last until Sunday, August 26.

Trump to revive peace process in Israel

After  two days intensive working days in Saudi Arabia, U.S. President Donald Trump travels to Israel with an intention to revive the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process with visits to Jerusalem and the West Bank. (Photo: illustration)

https://twitter.com/TEN_GOP/status/866445932157644800

Over two days, Trump is to meet separately with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and visit holy sites. Today, 22.05.2017, in Jerusalem, Trump will pray at the Western Wall and visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

EU-US divergence over Israel

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The EU and US policy towards Israeli-Palestinian peace process close come into a collision. While the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) call the EU and its member states to recognise Palestinian statehood, the US administration reportedly considers abandoning the UN Human Rights Council in disagreement over its policy towards Israel.

Led by delegation chair Neoklis Sylikiotis, the five MEPS visited Jerusalem and the West Bank on 20-24 February. In addition MEPs discussed the Israeli government’s recent decision to retroactively legalize settlements on the West Bank (pictured).

While in Jerusalem and the West Bank on 20-24 February, the cross-party delegation of MEPs met Palestinian Authority officials, communities at risk of forced displacement and civil society organisations battling Israel’s settlement expansion.

The delegation chair Neoklis Sylikiotis , a Cypriot member of the GUE/NGL group, described Israel’s recent decision to build 3,000 new homes in the West Bank  as a “new violation of the rights of Palestinians to self-determination.”

Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley challenged the Human Rights Council for “breathtaking double standards” and “outrageously biased resolutions” against Israel, during a press conference after her first meeting with the UN Security Council.

According to the recent media reports, the US administration is considering to leave the UN HR Council, however the US delegation confirmed it is intention to work full force in coming months. The independent experts consider the leak about the US departure as a method of exercising pressure  on the UN body to take more objective approach towards Israel.

President Trump is considering himself a good friend of Israel, confirming that his friendship goes beyond politics: his daughter Ivanka and his grandchildren are Jewish.

 

MEPs visit Israel and Jordan

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A delegation of the European Parliament, headed by Elmar BROK, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, visited Israel, the West Bank and Jordan from 2 January to 6 January. Members discussed the situation in the region with representatives of the government and parliamentarians from the majority and the opposition in Israel, after which they visited the Palestinian Authority and Jordan.

The fight against terrorism, a common concern, was at the heart of most discussions.

The threat that the Islamic State (IS) represents in the region and in Europe calls for joint answers. The various interlocutors recognized that countering the hate speech of terrorists pretending to fight in the name of Islam should be done using all means -education, strategic communication, or cyber security – acknowledging that this is an absolute priority for Jordan and should be for all Muslim countries. For more immediate threats, cooperation between intelligence services is the only valid security option for all countries concerned.

(Source: EP, AFET)