An Israeli NGO is set to release a report it says shows tens of cases in which the European Union has actively worked to breach the Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, by changing the facts on the ground in Area C to unilaterally harm Israel in final status talks with the Palestinians.
The report is significant as it comes at the same time as the EU has made a renewed push to threaten Jerusalem with sanctions if Israel makes "unilateral moves" which European states deem to be harmful to their vision of a "two-state solution."
Regavim, a legal rights group dedicated to ensuring responsible, legal and accountable use of Israel’s national land, has already sent an official letter outlining some of their findings to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman Wednesday, along with a call to stand strong against growing diplomatic pressure on Israel to make concessions by the EU.
"Once upon a time, the EU would pressure Israel by funding hostile NGOs, now it has cut out the middle man and is actively engaging in settlement activity on behalf of the Palestinians," Ari Briggs, International Director of Regavim stated.
"In the coming weeks we will present evidence of over 90 structures that have been built by the EU in contradiction with the Oslo accords and all international agreements. We have highlighted this to our government and call upon the EU to stop this blatant violation of Israeli sovereignty immediately.”
The objectives of the illegal Palestinian building funded by the EU is ironically the very same one the body has attributed to Israeli building in the region: creating facts on the ground, in this case to undermine Israel's position.
EU 'red lines' threaten Israel with sanctions
The proliferation of illegal EU-funded Arab settlements is particularly ironic, coming as the EU pushes to meet with Israel to establish five "red lines" on building in Judea and Samaria which, if crossed by Israel, could result in EU sanctions.
A document outlining the message EU Ambassador Faaborg-Andersen will be relaying to Israeli officials was obtained by Haaretz.
Among the red lines: Building in parts of the Givat Hamatos neighborhood in Jerusalem which are over the "Green Line"; construction in the Har Homa neighborhood of Jerusalem; construction in "E1", between Jerusalem and Maaleh Adumim; relocating illegal Bedouin settlers from parts of Judea including E1; and "harming the status quo" on the Temple Mount by allowing Jews to pray there.
All of the above are meant to preserve the possibility of a "two-state solution" with a PA-run state in Judea and Samaria.
"The EU considers the preservation of the two state solution a priority," the document reads. "The only way to resolve the conflict is through an agreement that ends the occupation which began in 1967, that ends all claims and fulfills the aspirations of both parties. A one state reality would not be compatible with these aspirations."
"…there is a legitimate expectation to have a constructive dialogue with the Israeli authorities on measures from their side which may impact on our assistance and its ultimate objectives of creating a sound enabling environment for economic and social development in the occupied Palestinian territories and contributing to create the conditions for a viable Palestinian state," it continues.
While the precise criteria are still relatively vague, once source told Haaretz that some EU states are pushing for an aggressive stance.
"Some countries, first of which is France, believe Israel must be presented with specific sanctions to be leveled if Israel takes specific actions so that there won’t be any surprises and the price is clear," a senior diplomat told the paper.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, an Israeli official dismissed the proposal as putting "the hearing before the sentence."
"We have a feeling they’re expecting us to reject the offer for negotiations and give them an excuse to push the sanctions against us, or that we’ll agree in any case to negotiations in which we’ll discuss which sanctions will be leveled."