[Marxism] EU Report Blasts Israeli Annexation of East Jerusalem

Steven L. Robinson srobin21 at comcast.net
Fri Nov 25 17:46:49 MST 2005


Secret EU report launches scathing attack on Israel

By Donald Macintyre in Jerusalem
 Published: 25 November 2005

http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article329199.ece

European governments should consider direct intervention in an attempt to
curb the systematic measures being undertaken by Israel to increase its
control and population in the historically - and legally - Arab eastern
sector of Jerusalem, a highly sensitive EU report concludes.

The confidential report, prepared by top diplomats representing the 25 EU
governments in the city, warns that the chances of a two-state solution are
being eroded by Israel's "deliberate policy" - in breach of international of
law - of "completing the annexation of East Jerusalem".

European Foreign Ministers this week vetoed planned publication of the
report - which also warns that rapid expansion of Jewish settlements in and
around East Jerusalem, along with use of the separation barrier to isolate
East Jerusalem from the West Bank, "risk radicalising the hitherto
relatively quiescent Palestinian population of East Jerusalem".

The report provides the most detailed and remorselessly critical account yet
produced by a Western international body of Israel's policy in East
Jerusalem, which has been occupied since its seizure in the 1967 Six Day
War. It points out that Jerusalem "is already one of the trickiest issues"
on the road to a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. It
adds that, as a result of the measures, "prospects for a two state solution
with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine are receding".

Among the recommendations in the report, drafted in October during the
British EU presidency which ends next month, the EU is urged to consider a
series of steps including direct support for projects that help Palestinians
to conduct legal battles against house demolitions, which it points out
tripled in the city during 2004, and the persistent refusal to grant
building permits to all but a small minority of Palestinians. The report
also suggests holding meetings with the Palestinian leadership in East
Jerusalem, presumably to demonstrate that - contrary to the Israeli
government's goal of Jerusalem as its "undivided capital" - it sees East
Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian state.

The EU foreign ministers' meeting was widely reported in Israel to have
decided against publication of the report in its present form because of the
risk to its relationship with the Jewish state especially when for the first
time Israel has given its blessing to the EU having a key security role in
the region by monitoring the Rafah crossing point from Gaza into Egypt. The
EU will be represented at senior level at a ceremonial opening of the
crossing by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today.

The 11-page report, leaked to The Independent, says the E1 project for a
major expansion of Ma'ale Adumim, the largest Israeli West Bank settlement,
to join it to Jerusalem "threatens to complete the encircling of the city by
Jewish settlements, dividing the West Bank into two separate geographical
areas." It says that, while the present 30,000 residents of the settlement
at present occupy only 15 per cent of the planned area, the total plan
envisages an area of 53 square miles - "larger than Tel Aviv" - extending
through the West Bank between Jerusalem and Jericho.

While the plans will divide the West Bank from itself and from East
Jerusalem, the report says "the economic prospects of the West Bank [which
has a GDP per year per head of $1,000] are highly dependent on access to
East Jerusalem [GDP of $3,500]. It adds: "From an economic perspective, the
viability of a Palestinian state depends to a great extent on the
preservation of organic links between East Jerusalem, Ramallah and
Bethlehem".

The document says when the separation barrier is completed, Israel will
"control all access to and from East Jerusalem, cutting off its Palestinian
satellite cities of Bethlehem and Ramallah, and the rest of the West Bank
beyond. This will have serious economic, social and humanitarian
consequences for the Palestinians. By vigorously applying policies on
residency and ID status, Israel will be able finally to complete the
isolation of East Jerusalem - the political commercial and infrastructural
centre of Palestinian life."

It adds: "Israel's activities in Jerusalem are in violation of both its
Roadmap obligations and international law. We and others in the
international community have made our concerns clear on numerous occasions
with varying effect. Palestinians are, without exception, deeply alarmed
about East Jerusalem. They fear that Israel will 'get away with it' under
cover of disengagement [from Gaza]." The document says smaller Jewish
settlements inside Palestinian areas are sometimes installed by would-be
settlers "preying on Palestinians suffering financial hardship or simply
[occupying] properties by force".

Besides suggesting that a formal call by the EU and the US-led international
quarter on Israel to stop prejudicing final status negotiations by its
actions in East Jerusalem would be "timely", one proposal is for the EU to
consider "excluding East Jerusalem from certain EU/Israel joint co-operation
activities." While the document does not say so, this could realistically
mean halting European funding for road, rail and projects which contribute
to the process of annexation.

The reports says the purpose of keeping West Bank ID holders out of East
Jerusalem and East Jerusalem ID holders out of the West Bank "is almost
certainly demographic , to reduce the Palestinian population of Jerusalem
while exerting efforts to boost the number of Israelis living in the city -
East and West."

European governments should consider direct intervention in an attempt to
curb the systematic measures being undertaken by Israel to increase its
control and population in the historically - and legally - Arab eastern
sector of Jerusalem, a highly sensitive EU report concludes.

The confidential report, prepared by top diplomats representing the 25 EU
governments in the city, warns that the chances of a two-state solution are
being eroded by Israel's "deliberate policy" - in breach of international of
law - of "completing the annexation of East Jerusalem".

European Foreign Ministers this week vetoed planned publication of the
report - which also warns that rapid expansion of Jewish settlements in and
around East Jerusalem, along with use of the separation barrier to isolate
East Jerusalem from the West Bank, "risk radicalising the hitherto
relatively quiescent Palestinian population of East Jerusalem".

The report provides the most detailed and remorselessly critical account yet
produced by a Western international body of Israel's policy in East
Jerusalem, which has been occupied since its seizure in the 1967 Six Day
War. It points out that Jerusalem "is already one of the trickiest issues"
on the road to a final peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. It
adds that, as a result of the measures, "prospects for a two state solution
with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine are receding".

Among the recommendations in the report, drafted in October during the
British EU presidency which ends next month, the EU is urged to consider a
series of steps including direct support for projects that help Palestinians
to conduct legal battles against house demolitions, which it points out
tripled in the city during 2004, and the persistent refusal to grant
building permits to all but a small minority of Palestinians. The report
also suggests holding meetings with the Palestinian leadership in East
Jerusalem, presumably to demonstrate that - contrary to the Israeli
government's goal of Jerusalem as its "undivided capital" - it sees East
Jerusalem as the future capital of a Palestinian state.

The EU foreign ministers' meeting was widely reported in Israel to have
decided against publication of the report in its present form because of the
risk to its relationship with the Jewish state especially when for the first
time Israel has given its blessing to the EU having a key security role in
the region by monitoring the Rafah crossing point from Gaza into Egypt. The
EU will be represented at senior level at a ceremonial opening of the
crossing by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today.

The 11-page report, leaked to The Independent, says the E1 project for a
major expansion of Ma'ale Adumim, the largest Israeli West Bank settlement,
to join it to Jerusalem "threatens to complete the encircling of the city by
Jewish settlements, dividing the West Bank into two separate geographical
areas." It says that, while the present 30,000 residents of the settlement
at present occupy only 15 per cent of the planned area, the total plan
envisages an area of 53 square miles - "larger than Tel Aviv" - extending
through the West Bank between Jerusalem and Jericho. While the plans will
divide the West Bank from itself and from East Jerusalem, the report says
"the economic prospects of the West Bank [which has a GDP per year per head
of $1,000] are highly dependent on access to East Jerusalem [GDP of $3,500].
It adds: "From an economic perspective, the viability of a Palestinian state
depends to a great extent on the preservation of organic links between East
Jerusalem, Ramallah and Bethlehem".

The document says when the separation barrier is completed, Israel will
"control all access to and from East Jerusalem, cutting off its Palestinian
satellite cities of Bethlehem and Ramallah, and the rest of the West Bank
beyond. This will have serious economic, social and humanitarian
consequences for the Palestinians. By vigorously applying policies on
residency and ID status, Israel will be able finally to complete the
isolation of East Jerusalem - the political commercial and infrastructural
centre of Palestinian life."

It adds: "Israel's activities in Jerusalem are in violation of both its
Roadmap obligations and international law. We and others in the
international community have made our concerns clear on numerous occasions
with varying effect. Palestinians are, without exception, deeply alarmed
about East Jerusalem. They fear that Israel will 'get away with it' under
cover of disengagement [from Gaza]." The document says smaller Jewish
settlements inside Palestinian areas are sometimes installed by would-be
settlers "preying on Palestinians suffering financial hardship or simply
[occupying] properties by force".

Besides suggesting that a formal call by the EU and the US-led international
quarter on Israel to stop prejudicing final status negotiations by its
actions in East Jerusalem would be "timely", one proposal is for the EU to
consider "excluding East Jerusalem from certain EU/Israel joint co-operation
activities." While the document does not say so, this could realistically
mean halting European funding for road, rail and projects which contribute
to the process of annexation.

The reports says the purpose of keeping West Bank ID holders out of East
Jerusalem and East Jerusalem ID holders out of the West Bank "is almost
certainly demographic , to reduce the Palestinian population of Jerusalem
while exerting efforts to boost the number of Israelis living in the city -
East and West."

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