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EU Diplomats Recommend Economic Sanctions Against Settlements

February 28, 2013 By:
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Palestinian activists set up on January 11, 2013 an "outpost" named Bab al-Shams ("gate of the sun") in the Israeli-occupied West Bank , between Jerusalem and the Jewish settlement of Maale Adumim, in an area Israel said it would build thousands of new settler homes. (Photo by FLASH90)

European Union diplomats in eastern Jerusalem have recommended economic sanctions against Jewish settlements in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

The recommendations are part of the 2012 Heads of Mission report, which is non-binding. The recommendations were reported Wednesday by the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, which obtained a copy of the report.

One of the recommendations calls on E.U. countries to “prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions including foreign direct investments, from within the E.U. in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services.”

Seven of the 10 recommendations found in the report call for direct or indirect sanctions by the E.U. on companies and organizations involved in settlement construction, according to Ha'aretz. One recommendation calls for actively encouraging divestment from the settlements.

Other recommendations include applying the free-trade agreement between Israel and the E.U. strictly, so that products manufactured in the settlements do not receive preferential treatment, and requiring products made in the settlements to be labeled as such in stores, according to the paper.

The report was given in early January to E.U. institutions in Brussels and to the foreign ministries of the 27 member states. 

It also called on E.U. member states to respond strongly in order to prevent construction in the E-1 area between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim, which it said would prevent the Palestinians from having a contiguous state.

A large part of the report accuses Israel of restricting Muslim and Christian religious practice in Jerusalem, and Israel of attempting to change the religious character of Jerusalem, according to Ha'aretz

The report also calls the construction of Jewish neighborhoods in eastern Jerusalem “systematic, deliberate and provocative.”

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