BERLIN (JTA) — Germany is reportedly putting pressure on the high-tech community in Israel over its government’s settlement policy.
Germany is conditioning support for private high-tech and scientific projects in Israel on not locating them in West Bank settlements or eastern Jerusalem, Haaretz reported Thursday.
A spokeswoman for Germany’s Foreign Ministry declined to confirm the report, but told JTA that Germany has a “strong interest” in scientific cooperation with Israel.
According to Haaretz, the issue is grants for Israeli high-tech firms and the renewal of a scientific cooperation agreement. The report suggested that by extending a funding ban to private companies, the move marks an escalation of European efforts to pressure Israel on its settlement policy.
The Israeli Embassy in Berlin declined to comment. A high-level German official told JTA that his country’s critique of Israel’s settlement policy is nothing new.
In March 2011, the German railway firm DB International — a subsidiary of Deutsche Bahn, Germany’s privatized railway — withdrew from a high-speed train project in Israel that reportedly was to pass through Palestinian lands.