Officials: 'Nothing new' in Quartet report

European officials say Quartet report expected to criticize Israel will not include any criticism that hasn't been sounded in the past.

Nitsan Keidar ,

Middle East Quartet (archive)
Middle East Quartet (archive)

A Quartet report expected to criticize Israel’s activities in Judea and Samaria will not contain any new criticism of Israel, European officials said Thursday.

The report is expected to be presented next Thursday to the UN Security Council.

The officials said that the document will not contain any information that has not previously been spoken on the subject by international bodies. At the same time, they added, the document may contain a statement that the communities in Judea and Samaria are illegal according to international law, and thus create a new precedent whereby the United States is signed unto a written document that includes this statement.

Officials involved in drafting the document said on Thursday that it will try to look forward and call on Israel and the Palestinians to resume negotiations with the assistance of countries in the world.

The Quartet – which is made up of the United States, Russia, EU and UN – was set up in 2002 to promote what the Israel-Palestinian Authority (PA) peace process.

In 2011 the group suggested a timetable which it said would bring forth a peace agreement by the end of 2012, one of several initiatives proposed by the Quartet which have failed.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry are expected to meet in Rome on Sunday, several days ahead of the publication of the Quartet report.

Israeli and American officials have said the two would speak about “several issues”, but observers have noted that the meeting comes ahead of the Quartet report and that this subject might be discussed.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers backed the French initiative to organize an international conference on the Middle East, aimed at restarting Israeli-Palestinian peace talks deadlocked since 2014.