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Economy minister welcomes EU settlements report
Published Thursday 28/02/2013 (updated) 06/03/2013 02:17
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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- The PA economy minister on Thursday welcomed an EU report calling for economic sanctions on Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

The leaked non-binding document by European Union consul generals in East Jerusalem and the West Bank said the 27-nation bloc should be diligent in ensuring settlements are excluded from trade benefits enjoyed by Israel.

Jawad al-Naji welcomed the EU's recognition of settlements as an obstacle to the two-state solution. In a statement, the minister warned that Israel misleadingly labeled settlement produce as "Made in Israel"

He added that PA consumer protection crews had seized tons of settlement produce from West Bank markets this year. The Ramallah government announced its boycott of settlement produce in early 2010, which includes a ban on working in settlements and trading in settlement-made goods.

PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat also welcomed the report and called on all European countries to adopt its recommendations, during a meeting with the British consul in Ramallah on Thursday.

In the internal report sent to Brussels earlier in February, the EU consuls said settlement construction remained "the biggest single threat to the two-state solution.

"It is systematic, deliberate and provocative," the report said.

Israeli leaders have repeatedly spurned international calls to stop settlement activity on land Palestinians seek for a future state.

The report denounced Israel's treatment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem. It also urged EU states "not to support ... research, education and technological cooperation" and to discourage investment in Israeli firms operating in occupied territory.

European countries, the report added, should consider barring entry to their territory of "known violent settlers".

Yigal Palmor, an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman, said the document would not help efforts to further peace.

"A diplomat's mission is to build bridges and bring people together, not to foster confrontation. The EU consuls have clearly failed in their mission," he said.

The report identified construction in large urban settlements that lie between Jerusalem and Bethlehem as "the most significant and problematic plans" that Israel was currently advancing.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, defying international condemnation, has also pledged to build more than 3,000 settler homes in the so-called E1 corridor near Jerusalem.

The report said building in E1 "is set to cut off East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank". Israel, which announced the project after the United Nations granted de facto recognition to Palestine last November, has said construction in the area is at least a year away.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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1 ) Oliveland / Palestine
28/02/2013 13:35
If the Colonies/Settlements are so bad , why only suggest actions againsts companies doing business there and not against the main promotor, the Israeli Government . Just talk of changing the preferential treatment Israel gets from the EU would jolt the occupier into what needs to be done , but the EU like most of the West are afraid of the big bad wolf .

2 ) Tibi / Tubas
28/02/2013 15:02
(1) Such reports come and go, but nothing is ever changed by them !!
And, (2) the situation remains, as it was 20 years ago, that if
- PALESTINIANS - want change, and a chance for a real state, they
- MUST NEGOTIATE, - regardless of Israel's settlement growth,
- AND COMPROMISE, - regardless of Israel's peace/statehood terms !!


3 ) Mel / USA
28/02/2013 16:24
Every Jewish outpost,new"settlement",or annexation of Jewish-only colonies is FINANCIALLY twinned with a Christian Zionist Church,or Zionist Org.in USA,as a Dispensationalist 'mission'to EXPEL non-Jews from"Eretz Israel". SO,Obama,can STOP the $3-10 BILLION p.a.(against our US tax-payer permission)to wealthy POWERFUL,rogue-nuke,Israel &spend it on REIMBURSING Americans &Palestinians,who have BOTH been the victims of USG/Israeli war-crimes.SeparateChurch&STATE,Obama! MAGNA CARTA!

4 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
01/03/2013 00:03
More blah blah from the EU and from Palestinian ministers, who really fear that the world might actually go to the west bank and see what Jimmy Carter saw - Israelis living in peace beside their Palestinian neighbors on lands that belonged to Jews before 1948. Why did the BDS protesters go to Rami Levi and get kicked out? Because Jews and Arabs work and shop side by side in peace. Let the Palestinians have their state and the Israelis theirs. But #2 is right - no negotiations = no Palestine.

5 ) BAZS / USA
01/03/2013 16:05
Hagel was confirmed in USA, he believes in human rights of Pals and is against settlements and will promote two states with Obama in a fresh move this year into 2014. Will it be effective? The Hamas - Fatah division may be the biggest problem in long run. Suggest they dissolve both factions and unite under another name and lose former identities. That identiity should be Palestinians - just a suggestion. BAZS.NET is still working in US to open Christian eyes as to what their taxes are supporting

6 ) Money / More
01/03/2013 16:43
Why do palestinians need a economy minister if they do not have any economy? Just endless begging for money from US, EU and Arab brothers.

7 ) Viva Palestina / Canada\Quebec
02/03/2013 19:35
The question is WHY don't they have any economy? "Zionism is a crime against humanity!"

8 ) Amin Husseini / Iceland
09/03/2013 06:29
a lot of censorship ma'an
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