EU Report on Israeli Land Grab
When the last Arab is gone and the city is 100 percent Jewish, there is going to be a howl of outrage from the Muslim world that will make September 11 look like a minor incident.
And the dwarves were busy yesterday: Some 200 olive trees were uprooted or chopped down yesterday by armed Israeli settlers near the village of Salem.
EU discovers Israel hard at work completing its annexation of Jerusalem
The policy implemented in East Jerusalem by Israel jeopardizes any negotiated settlement for the future status of the city, one of the thorniest issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is the conclusion of an incisive report drafted by European diplomats in Jerusalem and Ramallah and presented to the European ministers of Foreign Affairs. The document has not yet been made public for diplomatic reasons. (After negotiations with Israel, the Europeans have just reached an agreement to grant them a presence at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza that officially opened on November 25.) The observations and recommendations by the diplomats may be presented within a few weeks.
All the policies implemented by the Israeli authorities in the Arab neighborhoods and suburbs of Jerusalem, annexed after the Israeli conquest in 1967, have been carefully reviewed in the report. The diplomats condemn the continuing colonization as well as the construction of roads meant to connect existing settlements. The strategy, which aims to “complete the annexation of Jerusalem” goes against the obligations of Israel under international law and the Road Map, a peace plan recognized by the international community and by Israel.
According to the diplomats, the policies are reinforced by the construction of the so-called Security Wall, which Israel has been building since 2002 on Palestinian lands. The barrier is not only motivated by security considerations, insist the diplomats, who are skeptical of its temporary character and well aware of the fact that it separates Palestinians from other Palestinians, instead of separating Palestinians from Israelis. Its route cuts off 230,000 Arab residents of East Jerusalem from the West Bank. They underscore that the viability of a Palestinians state depends in a large measure on the preservation of links between East Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem [on the West Bank].
Given Israel’s overall strategy, the future of a two-state solution sharing their capital in Jerusalem is fading from view. The diplomats suggest that European governments clearly reaffirm that the status Jerusalem remains subject to negotiation. They propose the organization of a new round of meetings with Palestinians representatives in East Jerusalem to breathe new life into Palestinian institutions as provided for by the Road Map.
But according to the Israeli press, should such initiatives be attempted, European representatives would be banned by the Israeli government.
Stéphanie Le Bars
Le Monde 26.11.05