The EU said Monday it was seeking Israeli clarification of reports it planned to build another 1,000 homes in Jerusalem, threatening once again to sever ties with the Jewish state if it failed to follow the bloc’s plan for the Middle East, AFP reports Monday.
If the reports are confirmed, “it will call once again into serious question Israel’s commitment to a negotiated solution with the Palestinians,”
a spokeswoman for EU foreign affairs head Catherine Ashton said.
The European Union could only “condemn such an ill-judged and ill-timed decision” if the plans went ahead, spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said. “We stress that the future development of relations between the EU and Israel will depend on (its) engagement towards a lasting peace based on a two-state solution.”
Earlier this month, the EU condemned as “highly detrimental” similar Israeli plans for more than 2,600 settler homes, calling for them to be
reversed as a matter of urgency.
Reports Monday citing an unnamed official in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office said the Israeli government had approved plans for another 1,000 new Jewish homes, ending a de facto construction freeze in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
The reports followed fresh outbreaks of violence in mainly Arab east Jerusalem, where Israeli police have clashed with Palestinian rioters for several days.
Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah movement, threatened that the move could spark an “explosion.”
The bloc has threatened Israel multiple times to further its agenda in the Middle East, dangling unprecedented aid packages to both Jerusalem and Ramallah if a two-state solution is implemented. Despite this, it has denied threatening Israel – or promoting the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement – on multiple occasions.
The EU took the opportunity to once again threaten Israel last week, saying that the “future of EU-Israel relations” depends on Israel’s “commitment to peace” after Jews moved into apartments legally bought in the neighborhood of Shiloah (Silwan).