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Israel, EU agree on framework for R&D project, despite settlement guidelines

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel and the European Union have agreed on a compromise under which Israel will join the Horizon 2020 research and development project despite new EU guidelines on Jewish settlements.

Following months of negotiations, the agreement was reported Tuesday night in the Israeli media after an impasse was reached on Monday night.

The project is expected to provide about $1.9 billion over several years to Israeli researchers and universities. Israel has taken part in the EU program since 1996.

In July, the European Commission announced new guidelines making Israeli entities and activities in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Golan Heights ineligible for EU grants and prizes beginning on Jan. 1.

The agreement allowing Israel to sign came after telephone negotiations between Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton, an unnamed Israeli official told Haaretz.

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