Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, September 2013
John Kerry Urges EU to Postpone Funding Ban on Illegal Israeli Settlements
Dutch company cancels project in occupied Jerusalem
[ 07/09/2013 - 02:31 PM ]
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM, (PIC)--
Hollandís largest engineering firm has decided to pull out of a project planned to be established in the eastern part of the city of Jerusalem.
Haaretz reported that Dutch infrastructure giant Royal HaskoningDHV announced Friday that it has decided to withdraw from a project it planned with the Israeli Jerusalem municipality, because it was to be built beyond the Green Line.
Two weeks ago, the Dutch government has asked the company, Hollandís largest engineering company, to rethink its participation the sewage treatment plant because the project was based on the Palestinian side of the 1967 border, and that this would violate international law, the Hebrew newspaper said.
In June 2013, the European Union sent new instructions to all EU countries, prohibiting the financing of, or the investment in, Israeli settlements established on Palestinian lands occupied in 1967.
Kerry urges EU to postpone funding ban in Israeli-occupied territories
Sat Sep 7, 2013 7:22am EDT
VILNIUS (Reuters) -
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged the European Union on Saturday to put off a planned ban on EU financial assistance to (the illegal) Israeli organizations (which steal Palestinian lands) in the occupied Palestinian territories, a U.S. official said.
Kerry made the request at a meeting with EU foreign ministers at which he also called on them to support Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations (ha, ha, ha), which resumed on July 29 after a nearly three-year hiatus.
The EU imposed restrictions in July citing its frustration over the continued expansion of (illegal Israeli) Jewish settlements in (the Palestinian) territory captured by Israeli (occupation) forces in the 1967 Middle East War.
A senior U.S. State Department official told reporters that Kerry called on the Europeans to consider postponing the implementation of EU guidelines on aid.
"There was strong support for his efforts and an openness to considering his requests," he said.
The guidelines render Israeli entities operating in the occupied territories ineligible for EU grants, prizes or loans, beginning next year.
(Illegal Israeli) Jewish settler leaders say the aid they receive from Europe is minimal. But many in Israel worry about possible knock-on effects the EU steps may have on individuals or companies based in Israel that might be involved in business in the settlements, deemed illegal by the international community.
Israeli-Palestinian peace has been Kerry's main foreign policy initiative since becoming secretary of state on February 1.
He is scheduled to brief some League ministers on his peace efforts in Paris on Sunday and then to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas the same day in London.
He is also expected to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu soon, though not on his current trip to Europe which ends on Monday.
The core issues that need to be settled in the more than six-decade-old Israeli-Palestinian dispute include borders, the fate of Palestinian refugees, the future of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and the status of Jerusalem.
(Reporting By Arshad Mohammed; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
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