The European Union (EU) asked Israel on Thursday to halt the settlement activity and remove the settlement outposts established since March 2001 in accordance with the international legitimacy and previous commitments made by the Israeli government.
The EU said that Area C is part of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and the future Palestinian state, adding that the EU’s activities in the occupied West Bank are fully consistent with the international humanitarian law.
It noted that it provides humanitarian aid to the poor communities in Area C according to humanitarian priorities.
This came at the end of a tour by the EU cooperation directors who visited the EU projects in Area C in the Jordan Valley.
The PIC reporter said that they visited the various humanitarian and development projects funded by the EU and its member states which aim to support the poor communities who are subjected to frequent Israeli campaigns in this area.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) briefed the EU cooperation directors on the challenges facing the Jordan Valley area and the Palestinian communities there focusing on the obstacles to achieving sustainable social and economic development due to the Israeli practices.
Representatives of the Ministry of Local Government and the local councils of Zubaidat and Jiftlik villages also briefed the group on the development of the comprehensive plans and discussions held with the Israeli authorities in this regard.
According to the EU, the main goal of the EU-supported activities in Area C is to maintain the “viability of the two-state solution”.
The Union stressed its firm position on the settlement activity and said that during the meetings held in July 2015 and January 2016, the foreign ministers of the EU expressed their strong opposition to the settlement construction and other illegal activities carried out by the Israeli army including building the separation wall behind the 1967 borders, demolishing Palestinian houses, confiscating EU-funded projects, displacing Bedouins, and imposing restrictions on the citizens’ movement.
The OCHA warned of the policies of forced displacement pursued by the Israeli army in Area C through demolishing houses and destroying infrastructure, particularly roads to isolate Area C, which represents more than 61% of the occupied West Bank, from the Palestinian Area B in a prelude to annexing it.
(Source / 27.05.2017)