Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has ordered the Coordinator of Government Activities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, Maj. Gen. Eitan Dangot, to turn down any request by the European Union which relates to these regions, Channel 2 News reported on Thursday evening.
Yaalon’s directive is a direct response to the EU’s new guidelines which forbid any contact with Israeli companies operating beyond the 1949 Armistice Lines, said the report. Last week the EU published these guidelines despite Israeli efforts to dissuade it from doing so.
According to Channel 2 News, Yaalon instructed Dangot to make it difficult for the Europeans to operate in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. In the past week, Israel has denied several European requests to fund projects in the Palestinian Authority. In addition, eight requests by EU officials to cross from Israel into PA-assigned areas were denied and meetings between EU and Israelis officials were canceled.
Two days before the guidelines were published, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Kerry and told him that European sanctions will hurt his attempt to restart negotiations between Israel and the PA. He also spoke with the with the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, asking him to postpone the publication of the new guidelines.
Israel met European envoys last Friday, warning them of a serious crisis between the European Union and Israel over the move.
Hundreds of legal experts from Israel and around the world have appealed to European Union Foreign Affairs Commissioner Catherine Ashton to annul the EU's plan.
The experts are noting that the decision does not have a legal basis, because, they argue, Judea and Samaria is not occupied territory in the legal sense of the term.