Tuesday, June 03, 2008

EU urged not to boost Israel ties

Double-faced hypocrite!

(FT-June 3, 2008)

The Palestinian Authority has urged the European Union to refrain from ”upgrading” its ties with Israel, arguing that the country systematically violates human rights and its international commitments, including to the EU itself.

A letter sent by Salam Fayyad, the PA prime minister, to EU governments as well as to the European Commission and the European Parliament, conveys his ”deep reservations” about the Union’s apparent plans to deepen economic and political co-operation with Israel.
He writes: ”If the EU were to upgrade its relationship with Israel at this juncture, in view of Israel’s systematic breach of legal obligations and agreements, Palestinians could only view it as rewarding unlawful behaviour, and Israel could only interpret it to mean that such behaviour and EU calls to stop it have no consequences.”
The letter, sent last week, was released by Luisa Morgantini, a vice-president of the European parliament.
Mr Fayyad points in particular to the continuing expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, as well as to more than 600 Israeli roadblocks and checkpoints in the territory. Palestinian officials say that these and other moves undermine the current round of peace talks and impose a heavy economic burden on the Palestinians.
Israel argues that new building permits are issued only for settlements that it expects to keep under any future peace agreement with the PA. The two sides agreed at a US-sponsored conference in Annapolis last November to strike a peace deal by the end of the year, but so far talks have made little headway.
Mr Fayyad writes: ”I cannot overstate the need for accountability at this juncture. Whatever credibility and hope the peace process may have enjoyed at Annapolis is fast fading, as is the viability of an agreed two-state solution.”


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