Israeli land grab

 19 Mar 2016 - 1:14

The Palestinian issue still remains a long tunnel, with no light in sight anywhere.

The European Union’s criticism of Israel’s decision to seize land in the occupied West Bank, on the ground that it raises questions about Tel Aviv’s commitment to a two-state solution to end the conflict with the Palestinians, is another reminder that Europe will not remain a passive spectator to Israel’s aggression and land-grabbing. The EU’s foreign policy service issued a rare statement directly criticising Israel for its appropriation of 579 acres near Jericho and this follows remarks made this week by Germany and France expressing concern about the Israeli land grab.
Israel has declared 234 hectares of West Bank territory as state land on Tuesday. Israel’s Peace Now movement, which tracks and opposes Israeli settlement in territory captured in the 1967 war, said the seized land is equivalent in size to more than 250 international football pitches and is the biggest reclassification since a seizure of 400 hectares in 2014.
It’s interesting and praiseworthy that sections of the international community are noticing Israeli actions and criticising them while the world remains distracted by several crises of various magnitude. The Palestinian issue has been relegated to the background, with Palestinians themselves groping in the dark about their future course of action and Arabs grappling with problems at home or in the neighbourhood. The Jewish state has been meticulously and assiduously exploiting this vacuum to pursue its agenda of unrestrained settlement construction and suppression of Palestinians. With the silence of Palestinians and Arabs, Israel is enjoying immunity and even the idea of two-state solution is being questioned due to Israel’s absolute control of the situation. It’s in this context that the European Union criticism assumes significance, though it will be foolish to expect the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to respect international opinion and change its stance.
French foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal France said Paris was extremely concerned by the decision of Israeli authorities to appropriate for Israeli settlements territory in the West Bank. “Settlements constitute a violation of international law and contradict commitments made by Israeli authorities in favour of a two-state solution,” he said. Paris is lobbying for an international peace conference before May that would outline incentives and give guarantees for Israelis and Palestinians to resume face-to-face talks before August and try to end the decades-long conflict. The UN too has expressed concern and asked Tel Aviv to reverse its decision of land confiscation.
The European Union must move beyond criticisms because Israel doesn’t take these criticisms seriously. But any serious step from the EU looks unlikely. The Palestinian issue still remains a long tunnel, with no light in sight anywhere.

 

The Palestinian issue still remains a long tunnel, with no light in sight anywhere.

The European Union’s criticism of Israel’s decision to seize land in the occupied West Bank, on the ground that it raises questions about Tel Aviv’s commitment to a two-state solution to end the conflict with the Palestinians, is another reminder that Europe will not remain a passive spectator to Israel’s aggression and land-grabbing. The EU’s foreign policy service issued a rare statement directly criticising Israel for its appropriation of 579 acres near Jericho and this follows remarks made this week by Germany and France expressing concern about the Israeli land grab.
Israel has declared 234 hectares of West Bank territory as state land on Tuesday. Israel’s Peace Now movement, which tracks and opposes Israeli settlement in territory captured in the 1967 war, said the seized land is equivalent in size to more than 250 international football pitches and is the biggest reclassification since a seizure of 400 hectares in 2014.
It’s interesting and praiseworthy that sections of the international community are noticing Israeli actions and criticising them while the world remains distracted by several crises of various magnitude. The Palestinian issue has been relegated to the background, with Palestinians themselves groping in the dark about their future course of action and Arabs grappling with problems at home or in the neighbourhood. The Jewish state has been meticulously and assiduously exploiting this vacuum to pursue its agenda of unrestrained settlement construction and suppression of Palestinians. With the silence of Palestinians and Arabs, Israel is enjoying immunity and even the idea of two-state solution is being questioned due to Israel’s absolute control of the situation. It’s in this context that the European Union criticism assumes significance, though it will be foolish to expect the government of Benjamin Netanyahu to respect international opinion and change its stance.
French foreign ministry spokesman Romain Nadal France said Paris was extremely concerned by the decision of Israeli authorities to appropriate for Israeli settlements territory in the West Bank. “Settlements constitute a violation of international law and contradict commitments made by Israeli authorities in favour of a two-state solution,” he said. Paris is lobbying for an international peace conference before May that would outline incentives and give guarantees for Israelis and Palestinians to resume face-to-face talks before August and try to end the decades-long conflict. The UN too has expressed concern and asked Tel Aviv to reverse its decision of land confiscation.
The European Union must move beyond criticisms because Israel doesn’t take these criticisms seriously. But any serious step from the EU looks unlikely. The Palestinian issue still remains a long tunnel, with no light in sight anywhere.