EU diplomats recommend economic sanctions against settlements


(JTA) — 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 Haaretz, which obtained a copy of the report.

One of the recommendations calls on EU countries to “prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions including foreign direct investments, from within the EU 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 EU on companies and organizations involved in settlement construction, according to Haaretz. One recommendation calls for actively encouraging divestment from the settlements.

Other recommendations include applying the free trade agreement between Israel and the EU 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 Haaretz.

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

It also called on EU 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 Haaretz. 

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

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