• Cisjordanie : plusieurs pays européens déplorent de nouvelles constructions israéliennes
    Publié le : 16/10/2020

    L’approbation par Israël de la construction de nouveaux logements en Cisjordanie est « contre-productive » et « compromet » la reprise éventuelle d’un « dialogue », ont dénoncé vendredi dans une déclaration commune plusieurs pays européens.

    « L’expansion des colonies viole le droit international et met encore plus en péril la viabilité d’une solution à deux États pour apporter une paix juste et durable dans le conflit israélo-palestinien », déplorent les ministères des Affaires étrangères allemand, français, britannique, espagnol et italien dans une déclaration commune. (...)


  • Israel is proud to have halted international projects for Palestinians in Area C
    Amira Hass | Sep. 13, 2020 | 6:17 AM - Haaretz.com
    The legislators revel in cuts to humanitarian projects funded by the EU but ask for more measures against Palestinian construction in Area C, which some call a ‘virus,’ ‘cancer’ or ‘territorial terror’

    In the battle over Area C, where Israel maintains full security and civilian authority, it’s chalking up successes against the Palestinians and the European Union and has significantly reduced the number of internationally (mainly European) financed Palestinian projects. That’s the news provided by the head of Israel’s Civil Administration in the West Bank, Brigadier General Ghassan Alian, to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in two meetings in late July and mid-August. The subject: “the Palestinian takeover of Area C,” referring to 61 percent of the occupied West Bank.

    The committee members, however, had reservations about the description of the situation as a “success.” “Even though there are wonderful and highly motivated people [in the Civil Administration], they are too small and this mission is several sizes too large for them,” said Matan Kahana of the right-wing Yamina party. The legislators demanded a firmer hand to prevent what they called a hostile illegal takeover of the area.

    Yamina’s Bezalel Smotrich suggested that the settlements receive the authority to supervise and demolish unlicensed Palestinian structures in open areas; he was backed by Likud’s Ariel Kallner. Yamina’s Ayelet Shaked, a former justice minister, proposed pressure on the government to appoint a project manager “whose entire objective would be to prevent the takeover of Area C.” Kahana suggested that a special Israeli authority be set up to this end.

    Until about two years ago, these issues were discussed by a subcommittee for the West Bank at the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, headed by then-MK Moti Yogev of Habayit Hayehudi. The subcommittee was a key tool of right-wing Knesset members, including many settlers, for shaping Israelis’ conviction that Area C is Israeli territory for all intents and purposes. The subcommittee was also vital for planning Israeli policy there: accelerating and expanding construction of settlements while preventing Palestinian construction.

    The committee members and its regular guests – including settler leaders and members of the group Regavim, whose proclaimed mission is to safeguard “the Jewish nation’s land” – often criticized what was described as the helplessness of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories and the Civil Administration subordinate to it. The committee members encouraged these agencies to show greater firmness against the Palestinians.

    European involvement in financing humanitarian projects in Area C was often raised in the subcommittee as a practice that must be eliminated. At the two sessions on July 29 and August 13, Chairman Zvi Hauser of the Derech Eretz party said he intended to continue the subcommittee’s tradition and promote Israeli interests in Area C, where he said Israeli governments’ position remains “that Israel has just historical, legal and civil claims.”

    In fact, at the July meeting, it was reported that Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi considers any present or planned European activity in Area C that “doesn’t honor Israeli construction-permit procedures European intervention in an attempt to define a border.” That’s what he wrote in his reply to a parliamentary question submitted by Moshe Arbel of Shas, an initiator of the meeting’s topic.

    Ashkenazi also wrote that his ministry has made clear to EU representatives that “in cases of a failure to grant a permit and activity in the area, one should expect consequences stemming from the violations.” Also, Israel rejects out of hand “any demand for payment of compensation for the demolishing or confiscation of the equipment,” he wrote.

    But the Europeans have already gotten the message, according to data submitted to the committee by Alian. The number of internationally (mainly European) financed Palestinian projects shrank to 12 in 2019 from 75 in 2015, he said, linking that to the supervision and enforcement steps adopted by the Civil Administration. He said previous Defense Minister Naftali Bennett gathered together the ambassadors and attaches of the relevant countries, and along with the Civil Administration’s section dealing with international organizations, “we warned all of them that we won’t tolerate any international project without Israeli approval for that part.”

    ‘The main battle’

    At the two meetings the words “war,” “struggle,” “battle” and “campaign” were used. Gideon Sa’ar of Likud called this “the main battle, the main campaign over the Land of Israel in Area C …. Our demand, which is also derived from the [Oslo] agreements, is a demand for all of Area C.” Amit Halevi of Likud called Palestinian construction in Area C “an exponential virus.” His party colleague Avi Dichter described it as “territorial terror.”

    One of the guest participants was Benzi Lieberman, a resident of the settlement of Peduel, former head of the Yesha Council of settlements and director of the Israel Land Authority. He presented a map of the Palestinian areas under construction and referred to part of it as “a cancer.”

    According to descriptions at the meetings, Palestinian construction is strangling or attempting to strangle Jewish settlement. Nitzan Horowitz, Yair Golan and Tamar Zandberg of the Meretz party, and guest attorney Roni Pelli of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel, objected to this description. They noted that Israel does not permit construction and development for Palestinians in Area C, not even a linking up to the water and electricity grids. Thus the Palestinians are forced to build without a permit, and this is usually very simple construction. But these four speakers were in the minority; the others dismissed the facts that were cited.

    Alian listed other achievements of the Civil Administration, which was established in 1981 with the declared objective of serving the Palestinian population. In 2019 it uprooted 7,500 trees that Palestinians had planted in areas that Israel has designated over the years as state land (and thus for Jews only). In the past 20 years, Alian said, the total number of trees planted by Palestinians and uprooted by the Civil Administration is 42,000. As a farmer, he knows that this is a lot, he added.

    Marco Ben-Shabbat, the head of the Civil Administration’s enforcement unit, said that in 2019 the administration confiscated 700 excavators and bulldozers and the like, and that confiscation provides “very significant deterrence.” While in 2015 the administration removed only six structures placed in Palestinian communities, in the first eight months of this year “we took care of 242” – that is, they were confiscated and removed from the area. Today, he said, no more than 14 days elapse from the moment the administration locates a trailer or any other structure until it dismantles it and removes it from the area.

    As Alian and Ben-Shabbat put it, the acceleration of the Civil Administration’s efforts against Palestinian construction was made possible by two legislative amendments: a military order for removing mobile homes and an order against unauthorized structures. The two amendments were originally written to prevent the construction of settler outposts on private Palestinian land and were later applied to Palestinian communities, which usually build on private Palestinian land – theirs or rented.

    These two legal tools were adopted as a result of constant criticism of the Civil Administration in the subcommittee for the West Bank. Alian said a larger budget for the administration would improve its performance even more.

    The right deterrence

    Former legislator Yogev, a resident of the settlement of Dolev, took part in the August 13 meeting as a guest. Trying to cool Ben-Shabbat’s enthusiasm, he said: “But Marco, if [the excavator] is brought back within a day … or a water pump or any other thing confiscated for a day … that doesn’t represent any punishment and contains no deterrence. If it’s brought back after a year the monetary loss will end the phenomenon.”

    Ben-Shabbat replied that he has to obey the law, but “in the test of reality, we stipulate conditions to those offenders. For example, opposite the settlement of Psagot Kokhav Ya’akov, a truck was seized two and a half months ago. We stipulated conditions [for its return], for example, removing the trash that was dumped there ... Two trucks, each of which is worth almost 5,000 shekels [$1,470] a day, have been with us for over three months. There are tractors that have been in the process for about two months, and some for a week and a half, all according to the stipulations of the law. And I think we’re stretching those places to their limits, as long as it’s within the confines of the law.”

    Meir Deutsch of Regavim, a resident of the settlement of Efrat, attended the two meetings. Yogev described Regavim as the “intelligence officer” of the subcommittee that he once headed. Deutsch told the participants that 70 percent of areas A and B, where Palestinians are allowed to plan and build, are empty. “That means that there’s no need for the Palestinian Authority to build in Area C because they have nowhere [else] to build. Because they have 70 percent of Areas A and B that are still unpopulated, they can build there.”

    Nir Barkat of Likud said there should be a goal of settling 2 million Jews in the West Bank, along with the “thwarting of the Palestinians’ attempt to change the situation. They have enough territory in A and B.”

    At both meetings it turned out that the cabinet decided already in July 2019 to appoint a kind of project manager for the Area C issue. This manager wasn’t appointed, but the Civil Administration did map Palestinian construction without permits and made a new estimate of the Palestinian population (though not via a census). The findings were not disclosed at the meetings.

    The Civil Administration drew up regional priorities for demolishing Palestinian structures: at this stage in the area surrounding Jerusalem, the South Hebron Hills and firing zones, with an emphasis on the Jordan Valley. Later the Civil Administration plans to do the same near the separation barrier, in areas along main roads and on state lands.

    Ben-Shabbat said the coordination between various groups that report immediately on Palestinian construction has improved greatly, whether it’s settlers who are ordinary civilians and report Palestinian construction, or soldiers and reservists who stop construction immediately via the mobile-homes order.

    Ben-Shabbat also spoke about intelligence tools: The Civil Administration adviser on Palestinian affairs is on Palestinian social media as well as Facebook, “which looks as though there’s nothing there but contains a great deal of information, both cautionary and certainly information that’s sent to our enforcement activities.”

    The Civil Administration also uses the Palestinian Geographic Information System “in order to see trends.” Also, information comes from Central Command intelligence, and from the army’s West Bank Division and brigades, Ben-Shabbat reassured his listeners.

    During the Oslo negotiations, the two parties agreed to artificially divide the West Bank into the categories A, B, C (Palestinian cities, villages and the thinly populated area, respectively). This was to facilitate the gradual redeployment of the Israeli military and transfer more territory to the PA’s responsibility. This artificial division should have ended by 1999, according to the accords.

    According to the PA’s interpretation, most of the West Bank was supposed to become Area A – where the PA maintains policing and planning authority – on the eve of the implementation of a final-status accord in 1999.

    Since the establishment of the PA in the mid-’90s, Israel has restricted Palestinian construction to a minimum in Area C, which constitutes 61 percent of the West Bank excluding East Jerusalem.

    For years the EU’s position has been that Area C is an integral part of the future Palestinian state, and that its financial support to the Palestinians is geared toward the establishment of this state, as part of the Oslo Accords. The EU expressed hope that Israel would in the meantime approve master plans for Palestinians communities to enable legal construction and a linkup to infrastructure.

    When it turned out that Israel was not approving master plans submitted by Palestinian villages in Area C, and continues to refuse to connect them to the electricity and water grids, the EU, or individual countries, supported projects they described as humanitarian: rehabilitating cisterns, installing solar energy technology, building schools or adding classrooms, financing clinics, and distributing trailer homes instead of the tin shacks and huts of shepherd communities, which were eroded by the weather, mobile toilets and the rehabilitation of agricultural land and roads. This is the nature of projects that so alarm the Knesset committee.


  • Les élus européens approuvent largement l’accord "ciel ouvert" avec Israël
    Par Raphael Ahren 18 juin 2020, 18:29 | The Times of Israël

    Jérusalem salue un succès diplomatique avec la ratification par Bruxelles. Avec les projets d’’annexion, l’UE promet de surveiller l’évolution politique et d’agir en conséquence

    Mercredi soir, le Parlement européen a ratifié un important accord aérien avec Israël. L’accord « Ciel ouvert » est considéré comme un coup de pouce majeur pour l’économie israélienne, puisqu’il réduit les tarifs aériens et favorise la création de nouvelles liaisons.

    Jérusalem a salué le vote sur l’accord, au terme d’un processus de sept ans, comme une réussite diplomatique majeure.

    Dans le même temps, l’Union européenne a indiqué jeudi que le vote ne devait pas être considéré comme préjugeant de sa réponse à une éventuelle annexion israélienne de certaines parties de la Cisjordanie. Elle s’est engagée à « suivre de près la situation et ses implications plus larges, et à agir en conséquence ». (...)

    Israël salue la ratification de l’accord « ciel ouvert » avec l’UE
    18 juin 2020 Par Agence France-Presse

    Israël a salué jeudi la ratification par le Parlement européen de l’accord « ciel ouvert », malgré des critiques de principaux membres de l’UE au projet israélien d’annexion de pans de la Cisjordanie occupée.

    Les députés européens ont ratifié mercredi par 437 contre 102, l’accord « ciel ouvert » entre l’UE et Israël, signé en 2013, qui met en place un cadre juridique unique pour l’exploitation des services aériens entre les deux parties.

    Cet accord, déjà mis en place progressivement, vise à permettre aux compagnies aériennes de l’UE d’exploiter des vols directs à destination d’Israël en provenance de n’importe où dans l’espace européen, tandis que les transporteurs israéliens pourront desservir n’importe quel aéroport de l’UE.

    « C’est un accomplissement politique important qui montre l’état des relations entre Israël et l’Europe », s’est félicité le ministre des Affaires étrangères israélien, Gabi Ashkenazi, ajoutant que l’accord représente un important potentiel économique pour Israël qui mise sur la manne touristique hors période de pandémie.

    Plus tôt, le Parlement européen avait rejeté par 388 contre 278 (20 abstentions) une résolution visant à ajourner le vote sur l’accord « ciel ouvert » afin de protester contre le projet d’annexion israélien.

    Le gouvernement israélien doit se prononcer à partir du 1er juillet sur la mise en oeuvre du plan Trump pour le Proche-Orient, qui prévoit l’annexion par Israël de la vallée du Jourdain et des colonies juives en Cisjordanie occupée.

    L’Union européenne qui s’oppose au plan, a demandé à Israël de renoncer à l’annexion, sans toutefois parler d’éventuelles mesures de représailles, comme des sanctions ou une réduction de la coopération avec l’Etat hébreu.

    Dans une déclaration commune, la France, la Belgique, l’Allemagne et l’Estonie ont exhorté Israël à s’abstenir de « toute décision unilatérale qui mènerait à une annexion d’un territoire palestinien occupé et qui serait alors contraire au droit international », réaffirmant leur attachement à la solution de deux Etats, seule capable d’apporter la paix dans la région, selon eux.

    Après une interruption quasi totale en raison de la pandémie, portant un dur coup au secteur touristique, les vols vers et depuis Israël ont repris progressivement avec le projet à terme de permettre à des touristes de certains pays de visiter Israël sans faire de quatorzaine.

    Israël, qui compte quelque neuf millions d’habitants, a enregistré officiellement plus de 19.800 infections et plus de 303 décès, présentant un faible ratio de morts comparativement à des pays en Europe et dans les Amériques.

    Mais ces derniers jours, une recrudescence des cas de personnes contaminées fait craindre une « seconde vague » et la mise en place ou le maintien de restrictions.


  • » European Union Calls for a Halt to Israeli Demolition Policies
    June 1, 2020 6:22 AM Ali Salam – IMEMC News

    (...) The European Union (EU) missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah released a statement last week, regarding a spike in Palestinian-owned home demolitions ordered and carried out by Israeli authorities in the occupied West Bank so far in 2020, Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

    The statement noted that Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes, not only continued during the holy month of Ramadan, but in fact increased three-fold compared to 2019. (...)

    #IsraelUE #démolition

    • Israeli Police Forces Demolish 4 Palestinian-owned Homes Inside Israel
      June 1, 2020 7:11 AM Ali Salam

      Israeli occupation police, on Sunday, demolished four homes under construction in the Arab city of Tira, inside the 1948 occupied lands, known as Israel.

      The justification given by authorities for the demolition, was the alleged lack of a building permit, Shehab News reported.

      According to witnesses, police stormed the city, isolated the homes belonging to the Palestinian Khuffash family, preventing anyone from entering the area and proceeded to raze the buildings.

      The owner of the demolished houses, Ibrahim Khuffash, stated that the case was still going through the court process, and a ruling had not yet been made.

    • Two Palestinian Brothers Begin Demolishing their Homes in Jerusalem
      June 1, 2020 6:53 AM Ali Salam

      Two Palestinian brothers, on Saturday, demolishing their two homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabal al-Mukaber, after the demolition was ordered by the Israeli municipality, the Palestinian WAFA News Agency reported.

      Imad and Ahmad Mashahreh said that they were given demolition notices, and decided to embark on the feat of self-demolition to avoid the high cost charged by the municipality.

      The two homes, sheltered eleven people, whom have now become displaced as a result of the Israeli order.

      Israel denies building permits to Palestinian residents in order to have a pretext to destroy their homes, at the same time the occupation states grants permission for the construction and expansion of illegal colonial settlements.

  • La réponse de l’Europe à l’annexion de la Cisjordanie par Israël
    Gideon Levy, 16 mai 2020

    15 mai 2020. Dans le village de Sawiya, près de Naplouse, à l’occasion du 72e anniversaire de la Nakba, un Palestinien participe à une manifestation contre le plan israélien prévoyant d’annexer certaines parties de la Cisjordanie occupée. (Photo : Majdi Mohammed, AP)

    Les choses sont bien claires désormais pour les gens qui étaient embarrassés : Israël peut annexer la Cisjordanie autant qu’il le désire – l’Europe ne se mettra pas en travers de son chemin.

    Tous ceux qui pensaient qu’ils pourraient insuffler de la crainte dans nos cœurs à propos de la réaction de l’Europe à l’annexion avaient oublié ce qu’est l’Europe, à quel point elle est paralysée, coincée, craintive, divisée et désarmée face à Israël.

    À l’ancienne présidente de Meretz, Zehava Galon, qui avait tweeté après la réunion des ministres des Affaires étrangères de l’Union européenne vendredi : « Quiconque pense que l’annexion se passera tranquillement pour nous… », on peut rétorquer : Elle se passera en effet très tranquillement. Ne comptez pas sur l’Europe. Il n’y a personne ni rien sur qui ou quoi compter. L’Europe, comme toujours, sortira des déclarations, tiendra des consultations, convoquera des ambassadeurs – et restera sur la touche.

    L’Europe classique est une Europe neutre, qui n’intervient contre aucune injustice commise par Israël. Nous n’attendons rien des États-Unis, et certainement pas sous la présidence de Donald Trump, comme nous n’avions rien à attendre de ses prédécesseurs non plus, à ce propos.

    L’Europe de l’Est « non classique » soutient avec admiration toute violence commise par Israël. Le seul espoir réside dans le coin situé au nord-ouest de la carte, l’endroit que le Premier ministre Benyamin Netanyahou tend à montrer du doigt en disant : « C’est le seul endroit où nous avons un problème. » C’est le seul endroit où il y avait de l’espoir, pensions-nous naguère. C’est désormais une déception aussi.

    Le résultat des délibérations de vendredi entre les ministres des Affaires étrangères est caractéristique de l’Europe classique sous son pire profil. « Configurer des projets associés », « tourner une nouvelle page » vis-à-vis du nouveau gouvernement israélien : les sanctions constituent « un problème complexe » et cela « ne veut pas dire que nous le ferons demain ». Aucune surprise, là !

    Europe’s disappointing response to Israeli annexation of the West Bank
    Gideon Levy May 16, 2020 | Haaretz.com

    The all-clear has sounded for those who were worried: Israel can annex the West Bank as much as it wants – Europe will not stand in its way. Anyone who thought they could strike fear into our hearts over Europe’s reaction to annexation forgot what Europe is, how paralyzed it is, how coerced, fearful, divided and helpless it is in the face of Israel.

    Former Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon, who tweeted after the meeting of European Union foreign ministers on Friday: “Whoever thinks that annexation will pass quietly for us…” can be told: It will indeed pass very quietly. Don’t count on Europe. There’s no one and nothing to count on. Europe, as always, will formulate statements, hold consultations, summon ambassadors – and stand on the sidelines.

    Classical Europe is neutral Europe, which doesn’t intervene against any injustice Israel commits. We have no expectations from the United States, certainly not under the presidency of Donald Trump, nor under his predecessors for that matter. “Non-Classical” Eastern Europe admiringly supports every violent thing Israel does. The only hope is the northwestern tip of the map, the one Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tends to point to and say: “That’s the only place we have a problem.” That’s the only place where there was hope, we once thought. That’s a disappointment now as well.

    The outcome of Friday’s deliberations of foreign ministers is Classical Europe at its worst. “Mapping of joint projects;” “turning a new page” vis a vis the new Israeli government; sanctions are “a complex issue;” and it “doesn’t mean we’ll do it tomorrow.” No surprise there. Fifty-three years of occupation that persists under your silence, your funding, your arms, and the spokesman for EU external affairs tells reporters who ask about sanctions not to put the cart before the horse. There’s time. Fifty-three years of occupation whose legitimacy is recognized by no international institution in the world, and the EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell says that there’s no comparison to Russia’s occupation of Crimea. There, the territory belongs to a sovereign state. Israel’s outgoing propaganda minister, Gilad Erdan, could not have put it better. Europe is with the Israeli right. When it came the occupation of Crimea, Europe in fact knew how to respond with action and immediately. But Russia scares Europe much less than Israel does.

    When it comes to Israel there are other rules, and a different international law, and different conduct. Fear of the United States on the one hand and guilt over the Holocaust on the other, together with the unbelievable efficiency and extortion efforts of the Zionist propaganda machine, stronger than any obligation to international law, than the obligation that Europe has to the fate of the Palestinians, and stronger than European public opinion, which is much more critical of Israel than any government.

    The European Union’s Erasmus+ education funding and its Horizon 2020 research programs are in danger. That’s Europe’s response to annexation. Stopping joint research projects will prevent occupation. Don’t make Israel and its settlers laugh. Instead of imposing real sanctions – from a sweeping ban on settlers entering Europe and through economic sanctions – they threaten Erasmus+. Europe’s insistence on a two-state solution – when some of its leaders already know and sometimes admit in closed conversations is already a lost cause – plays into the hands of Israeli apartheid, which also knows how to mumble the term two states, if only there were a partner, and then builds tens of thousands more houses in the West Bank.

    One can of course argue that it isn’t Europe’s role to bring about world justice or clean up after Israel. But after all, the European Union has higher pretenses than just a common market. Europe, which was silent and closed its eyes in the past, is doing it again. Perhaps it will soon summon presumptive foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi and he will promise them that Israel will work to enact the two-state solution. Four and a half million people will continue to suffocate without rights and without a future, and Brussels will go on patting itself on the back and feeling good about itself – after all, it threatened to cancel Erasmus+.


    • Canada’s Trudeau joins international opposition to Israel’s annexation plans
      Meanwhile, Fatah leadership calls on Palestinians to ’prepare’ for annexation, but a senior official tells Haaretz its response would not be ’irreversible’
      Noa Landau, Jack Khoury | May 18, 2020 | 8:03 PM

      Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday in a statement congratulating Israel’s new government that “in these times of uncertainty, our commitment to international law and the rules-based international order is more important than ever,” hinting at the government’s pledge to annex parts of the West Bank.

      Trudeau’s remarks, touting Canada and Israel’s “long history as close friends,” is the latest in statements made by leaders and international groups, warning the new government, sworn in on Sunday, against its annexation proposal.

      Meanwhile, the Fatah Central Committee called on the Palestinian public to “prepare” for the consequences of a future Israeli annexation and pointed to comments from Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Friday that if Israel proceeds with the plans it will lead to a “major clash” with his country.

      A senior official told Haaretz that despite these remarks, the Palestinian leadership does not intend to respond with decisions or moves that would be “irreversible.” This was despite continuous statements from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that annexation would bring an end to all Palestinian Authority agreements with Israel.

      The executive committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization will convene on Tuesday, also to discuss its response to the proposed annexation. The meeting was postponed from last week because the Palestinian leadership was waiting until after the swearing-in of the new Israeli government, according to Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.

      On Monday, Israel’s new Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said that the controversial Trump middle east peace plan will be pushed forward “responsibly, in coordination with the United States while safeguarding peace agreements and Israel’s strategic interests.”

      Kahol Lavan leader and new Defense Minister Benny Gantz also said on Monday he was “committed to doing whatever is needed to advance diplomatic arrangements and to seek peace. Peace was and remains an important Zionist aspiration. At the same time, and for this purpose, we will preserve our power so we can exploit regional opportunities in general and to advance the American administration’s and President Trump’s peace plan, with everything it includes.”

      In Europe, high-level discussions have been going on for a number of days in an attempt to draw up sanctions to annexation that won’t require a consensus by mapping joint projects with Israel that could be damaged by unilateral steps that violate international law. At the same time, the continent gave positive messages to the new Israeli government about the possibility of “turning a new page” with Europe.

      President of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, known as S&D, Iratxe García Pérez said in a statement on Sunday that they are “deeply concerned about the birth of the new Netanyahu-led government.” Adding that Netanyahu’s continued premiership is a “dangerous… political programme,” that could lead to “Israel’s illegal annexation of the occupied territories.”

      The United States under President Trump has supported annexation as part of its so-called Middle East Peace Plan, but European states and the United Nations have all condemned annexation as illegal under international law and spelling disaster for the prospects of a two-state solution.

      On Friday, the U.S. State Department’s spokeswoman said the Trump administration still wants to conduct direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as other regional actors, based on the administration’s Middle East plan.

      Spokeswoman Megan Ortagus added that Israeli annexation moves in the West Bank should be discussed in the broader context of direct peace talks.

      Last week, in during a whirlwind trip to Israel Netanyahu told U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a joint statement that the new Israeli government presents an opportunity “to promote peace and security based on the understandings I reached with President Trump in my last visit in Washington.”

      Amir Tibon contributed to this report.

  • EU countries mull slapping sanctions on Israel to deter West Bank annexation
    European Union representatives will meet in Brussels Friday to discuss possible countermeasures, including denying Israel membership in trade agreements, special grants or cooperative ventures in various fields
    Noa Landau
    12.05.2020 06:15 Updated: 8:15 AM

    Foreign ministers of countries in the European Union on Friday will debate possible responses to moves by Israel to annex land in the West Bank, should this clause in the Likud-Kahol Lavan coalition agreement be implemented.

    Although the recently appointed EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, is inclined to wait and see how the new Israeli government will act, several member countries have been exerting pressure to approve sanctions in advance as an act of deterrence. These could include denying Israel membership in trade agreements, special grants or cooperative ventures in various fields.

    Sources familiar with the discussions told Haaretz that there is increasing support among EU states for sanctions intended to deter Israel from annexing any territory. France, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Belgium and Luxembourg are all said to be calling for a tough line on the issue.

    The sources added that some steps, like trade agreements, don’t require the unanimous agreement of all the member states; as a result, Israel won’t be able to count on the veto of friendly EU countries like Hungary or the Czech Republic. Moreover, member states can decide on their own independent protest moves against Israel.

    “No one wants to reach a stage were EU-Israel ties are damaged for the long term, but they will be in the event of a unilateral annexation. If only because of the precedent it would set anywhere else,” a source said.

    As a result, in Brussels they are trying a “carrot and stick” approach; on the one hand, the option of turning over a new leaf between the new EU leadership and the new Israeli government, with an open dialogue between the two sides, while on the other hand, clear messages about the expected severe damage to be done to future relations in the event of a unilateral annexation.

    In a briefing for journalists in Brussels Monday, Peter Stano, the spokesman for EU external affairs, was asked whether there might be “some kind of sanctions” imposed on Israel in response to any annexation. Stano responded that the foreign ministers would discuss the situation in the Middle East on Friday at the meeting of the EU Council, and that imposing sanctions “is up to the member states; at this stage, let’s not speculate.”


  • Vallée du Jourdain : les Européens marquent leur opposition au projet d’annexion
    Par RFI Publié le 02-10-2019 | Avec notre envoyé spécial à Ein Shibli, Guilhem Delteil

    Ce mercredi, une vingtaine de diplomates européens se sont rendus dans la vallée du Jourdain pour marquer l’opposition de l’UE et de ses États membres au souhait du Premier ministre israélien d’annexer la vallée du Jourdain et le nord de la mer Morte au territoire israélien. La zone concernée représente plus de 20% de la Cisjordanie et son annexion menacerait sérieusement la solution à deux États. Reportage.

    Depuis un an, en tant que représentante spéciale de l’Union européenne pour le processus de paix au Proche-Orient, Susanna Terstal a multiplié les voyages dans la région. Mais la diplomate reconnaît que la promesse d’annexion de Benyamin Netanyahu n’est pas étrangère à cette visite de terrain.

    « À cause de l’annonce, je pense que nous tous, en tant qu’ambassadeurs européens ici, avons pensé que ce serait le moment de venir voir de nos propres yeux ce qu’est la réalité de la vallée du Jourdain », a déclaré la diplomate.

    Au cours de la journée, Susanna Terstal a rencontré des bédouins menacés d’expulsion par Israël puis s’est rendue dans cette école palestinienne soutenue par l’UE et la France. Elle était accompagnée des chefs de mission d’une vingtaine d’Etats membres. L’envoyée spéciale de l’Union se défend d’adresser un message à Benyamin Netanyahu mais la position des Européens est très claire, assure t-elle.

    « Notre position est basée sur les frontières de 1967 avec un échange négocié de territoires. La vallée du Jourdain représente 30% de la Cisjordanie. Donc elle est évidemment vitale pour le futur État palestinien », a-t-elle ajouté.

    #colonialisme_de_peuplement #IsraelUE

  • EU now funds Israel’s war ministry
    David Cronin Rights and Accountability 2 August 2019 | The Electronic Intifada

    Two years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu was heard complaining that the European Union was “crazy” for attaching “political conditions” to its relations with Israel. By the prime minister’s yardstick, matters have become less “crazy” since then: the EU has quietly expanded the financial support it gives to Israeli government bodies directly responsible for oppressing Palestinians.

    Israel’s defense ministry has just begun drawing down European Union cash for the first time.

    It is among the beneficiaries of a new $9 million research scheme on using drones during disasters. Known as Respondrone, the scheme is being financed under the EU’s science program Horizon 2020.

    The “political conditions” of which Netanyahu complained are respect for basic human rights. By providing money to Israel’s defense ministry, the EU is helping out a major human rights abuser.

    If the English language was used accurately, the defense ministry would be called the ministry for war crimes and occupation.

    It is tasked with strengthening Israel’s army. In other words, the ministry is dedicated to making an extremely aggressive army even more lethal.

    Not content with occupying the West Bank and Gaza, Israel’s army has bombed Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Sudan since the beginning of this millennium – when the EU supposedly began applying those “crazy” conditions. Israel has also killed Turkish humanitarian activists in international waters. (...)


  • L’armée israélienne accélère le rythme des destructions en Cisjordanie, selon l’UE
    Daniel Fontaine - Publié le jeudi 07 mars 2019

    L’armée israélienne poursuit les destructions régulières de bâtiments palestiniens en Cisjordanie occupée, souvent des maisons ou des écoles. L’Union européenne vient de publier les chiffres pour l’année 2018 : ils sont en hausse de 10%.

    L’armée israélienne continue aussi à s’en prendre aux infrastructures financées par les Européens. C’est un sujet de tension depuis des années entre les pays européens et Israël. Les Européens financent des infrastructures de base au profit des Palestiniens en Cisjordanie. Mais en zone C, zone sous contrôle exclusif de l’armée israélienne, l’armée détruit régulièrement des projets européens. 51 structures ont ainsi été réduites en poussières par les bulldozers israéliens l’année dernière. L’Union européenne estime que, depuis 10 ans, les investissements ainsi perdus s’élèvent à près d’un million et demi d’euros. (…)


  • Pendant six mois, ces villages palestiniens ont eu de l’eau courante. Israël y a mis fin
    25 février | Amira Hass pour Haaretz |Traduction SF pour l’AURDIP

    Pendant six mois, des villageois palestiniens vivant en Cisjordanie sur une terre qu’Israël considère comme une zone de feu fermée, ont vu leur rêve d’eau courante devenir réalité. Puis l’administration civile y a mis fin.

    Le rêve devenu réalité, sous la forme d’une canalisation d’eau de deux pouces (5 cm), était trop beau pour être vrai. Pendant environ six mois, 12 villages palestiniens des collines au sud de Hébron ont joui d’une eau courante claire. Cela, jusqu’au 13 février, lorsque l’équipe de l’Administration Civile israélienne, accompagnée de soldats et de la police des frontières est arrivée avec deux bulldozers.

    Les soldats ont déterré les tuyaux, les ont coupés et sciés et ont regardé les jets d’eau qui en giclaient. Environ 350 mètres cubes d’eau ont été gaspillés. L’administration civile a confisqué des restes et des sections de tuyaux de 6km environ sur un réseau de 20 km de longueur. Ils les ont chargés sur des camions à ordures à l’effigie de Ramat Gan, une banlieue de Tel Aviv.

    Le travail de démolition a duré six heures et demie. La construction du réseau d’adduction d’eau avait pris à peu près quatre mois. Ce fut clairement un acte de rébellion civile dans l’esprit du Mahatma Gandhi et de Martin Luther King contre une des privations les plus brutales qu’Israël impose aux villages palestiniens de la zone C, la partie de la Cisjordanie qui est totalement sous contrôle israélien. Cela empêche les Palestiniens de se brancher sur les infrastructures d’eau existantes.

    Les grottes qui servent d’habitation dans le district de Masafer Yatta, au sud de Hébron et les anciennes citernes de collecte d’eau de pluie confirment la revendication des villageois selon laquelle leurs villages existent depuis des décennies, bien avant la fondation de l’État d’Israël. Dans les années 1970, Israël a déclaré que quelque 30 000 dounams (3 000 ha) étaient dans la Zone de Feu 918.

    traduction de l’article cité ici : https://seenthis.net/messages/762571