European Union
European UnionVincent Kessler | reuters

Dan Illouz, a lawyer with the organization Legal Grounds, says that the European Union's efforts to separate Judea and Samaria from the rest of Israel goes against the Oslo Accords.

Illouz explained his argument in an interview with Arutz Sheva, following the EU's declaration that its agreements with Israel will not apply beyond the Green Line.

According to him, such a ruling not only contradicts the attitude that Israel has legal and historical rights supporting its presence in Judea and Samaria dating back to the time of the British Mandate, but also stands in opposition to the language of the Oslo Accords insisting that the final status is to be determined by mutual agreement.

Illouz pointed out that "Europe was a witness to the signing of the [Oslo] Accords. Although it has no commitment to what what said and signed, it took part in the process, oversaw the signature, and then supported and recognized the agreement. In the Oslo Accords it is stated that the negotiation over borders must be between the two sides and any who goes against this goes against the Oslo Accords."

He added that Israel's disregard for the fact that its political partners are acting contrary to signed agreements such as the Oslo Accords is a familiar phenomenon that has repeated itself before. "This happens not infrequently, that the other side goes against the Oslo Accords and Israel does not perceive that these agreements are no longer the status quo as we once knew it, but rather that they are taking matters into their own hands and we are not responding or standing up for our rights. As a result, we end up much weaker."

As example of this disregard for agreements related to the Oslo Accords, Illouz brought up the Palestinians' requirement to education for peace and not to call for violence. "The PA has not taken this path, neither during Arafat's time nor today. We responded to this, but not as part of a demand to uphold the Oslo Accords."

Illouz further stated that the reality in which one side does not uphold its obligations, the other side must declare the violations as a bargaining chip, even if the second side intends on maintaining its part of the deal. He emphasized that, even those who supported a political deal with the PA (the Israeli Left), said that it would declare and warn about such repeated violations of the Oslo Accords in order to arrive at the negotiating table from a position of power. However, the Israeli side regularly prefers to ignore it and so loses the power it should have.

He then described the actions his group, Legal Grounds, takes with regard to MKs and determining policy for both the Right and the Left. Through various actions, conferences, tours and more, members of the organization expose the legal history of Land of Israel and, through this, Israel's case in Judea and Samaria through the prism of international law. "Many MKs are not very familiar with Israel's legal case for Judea and Samaria," he said, adding that right-wing MKs are very happy with his group's actions and support him.

One example of such support occurred about two weeks ago, when MK Bezalel Smotrich (Jewish Home) wrote to the US State Department and demanded that they recognize Israel's rights in Judea and Samaria. "It turns out that the State Department also makes a distinction between the two sides of the Green Line. When even our best friend's State Department makes such a distinction, our situation is not good," says Illouz. He noted that Smotrich's letter was welcomed by some groups of legislators in Congress, who promised to investigate the situation.

As for Israel's historical legal case in Judea and Samaria, Illouz states that it is based on the League of Nations' decision, which gave the Jewish People the land for them to build a national home. In effect, this decision is the latest legally-binding ruling about the land. Every decision that has been made since to divide the land is no more than a recommendation and not a binding ruling.