Less than 24 hours after the European Union’s Foreign Minister, Josep Borell, declared that “steps towards annexation [of the Jordan Valley and other parts of the West Bank], if implemented, could not pass unchallenged,” European threats have been turned into action.
This afternoon (Tuesday) the European Union announced a special grant of €6 million to illegal outposts established by the Palestinian Authority as strategic tools for territorial annexation in Area C.
Today’s announcement provided details of a special aid package, provided by the EU and the government of Denmark, for infrastructure projects in 15 illegal clusters established by the PA in Area C. The projects that will benefit from this special grant include construction of school buildings, roads, multi[purpose structures, water distribution systems, reservoirs, and electrical infrastructure improvements.
The EU’s statement noted that “the European Union and its Member States provide humanitarian assistance to under privileged and marginalized communities in Area C in accordance with the humanitarian imperative. In parallel, the EU works with the Palestinian Authority to develop Area C and support Palestinian presence there.”
The statement continued: “Area C represents an important part of the occupied Palestinian territory and its sustainable social and economic development is essential for the viability of a contiguous future Palestinian state.”
Today’s statement comes on the heels of Borell’s announcement yesterday that “the EU does not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the territories occupied since 1967. Steps towards annexation, if implemented, could not pass unchallenged.”
Regavim responded sharply to the EU’s recent statements, calling upon Israel’s Foreign Minister Naftali Bennett to freeze money transfers that are earmarked for illegal activity.
“The absurd claim that Beit El, Hebron, the Tabernacle of Shiloh, the Hasmonean palaces, the Herodion, the aqueduct system built to supply water to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem and a host of other world-heritage treasures that cover the landscape of ‘Area C’ were ever Palestinian holdings that have been “occupied” by the Jewish State is a thin disguise for old-fashioned European antisemitism,” said Meir Deutsch, Director General of Regavim.
“It is deeply rooted antisemitism that motivates the European Union to support the illegal Palestinian takeover of thousands of dunams of land and the construction of tens of thousands of illegal structures in Area C. It is antisemitism that emboldens the Europeans to violate Israeli law, to violate international law, and to violate the Oslo Accords. The funding provided to the Palestinians by the Europeans has one purpose only: To seize control of territory that is under the sole jurisdiction of the State of Israel.”
Deutsch points out that no other underprivileged populations enjoy similar European largesse. There are no comparable roadworks project, no electric-grid projects, no water-infrastructure projects and no large-scale construction projects in remote open spaces, far removed from any city, town or other population cluster.
“No such projects have ever been initiated for Arab communities in the Negev, in the Galilee, in the Sinai, for the underprivileged Arabs of Jordan, Iraq or Syria - or even for those living in areas under Palestinian Authority jurisdiction,” adds Deutsch, “and there is only one explanation for the EU’s behavior.”
“We congratulate Great Britain for extricating itself from the antisemitic European Union, and we hope and pray that other European countries will wake up soon and follow England’s lead.”