Israeli government's decision to expand settlements in the West Bank: - extracts from the debate

Type: News   Reference: 89793   Duration: 00:03:20  Lieu: Strasbourg, France - European Parliament
End production: 12/12/2012   First transmission: 12/12/2012
Israel's plans to build 3 000 new settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would make a two-state solution impossible, MEPs warn in a resolution passed on Thursday. They insist that direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians must resume and urge all parties to refrain from any action that could hinder peace efforts. The construction of the new settlements announced by the Israeli government on 2 December would make it impossible to create a viable, contiguous and sovereign Palestinian State as they would divide the West Bank, MEPs note. They stress that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal under international law and must be stopped immediately. MEPs also say Israel must immediately release the USD 100 million in Palestinian tax revenues withheld, according to the Israeli finance minister, in order to pay Palestinian debts to the Israeli Electric Corporation. They encourage Israel and the Palestinian Authority to settle all outstanding financial disputes through EU mediation.

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00:00:00 SOUNDBITES (English) Erato KOZAKOU-MARCOULLIS, Council "The EU has never been clearer than it was on Monday : implementation of such plans would not only have an impact on the prospect of a Palestinian State, it would also have an impact on EU-Israel relations. In the same spirit, the EU expressed its commitment to ensure that in line with the international law, all agreements between the State of Israel and the EU must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967. It also reiterated its commitment to ensure full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlement products. The European Union also called on Israel to avoid any step undermining the financial situation of the Palestinian Authority. Contractual obligations, notably under the Paris Protocol, regarding full, timely predictable and transparent transfer of tax and customs revenues have to be respected." 00:01:32
00:01:32 SOUNDBITE (English) Annemie NEYTS-UYTTEBROEK (ALDE, BE) "We should not forget that these conclusions have been approved unanimously by all the 27 Member States. And this is something that the Israeli government should carefully ponder and consider." 00:00:15
00:01:47 SOUNDBITE (German) Hans-Gert PÖTTERING (EPP, DE) (English translation :) "It's important for Israel to live in peace. The Federal Republic of Germany has said that Israel has the right to live in peace and I can only agree with that." 00:00:12
00:01:59 SOUNDBITE (German) Hans-Gert PÖTTERING (EPP, DE) (English translation :) "But on the other hand the Palestine Zuthority also have the right to live in Peace, and with the announcement of the 3000 additional housing units being built, this is Israel taking something that doesn't belong to it." 00:00:18
00:02:17 SOUNDBITE (English) Franziska Katharina BRANTNER (Greens/EFA, DE) : "And the EU is currently extending its cooperation with Israel as decided at the last EU-Israel association council in July with up to 60 concrete activities. I demand that any implementation of such new areas of cooperation be frozen for the time being as a signal to the current Israeli government that the EU does not accept Israel isolated breaches of international obligations." 00:00:24
00:02:41 SOUNDBITE (German) Michael GAHLER (EP, DE) (English translation:) "I think we need also to ensure that when it comes to the occupied areas are not making some kind of profit from our cooperation. For instance, high-schools : in Ariel you have some privileges thanks to the cooperation between EU and Israel in the research area, well they should not benefit from that. I think that these are spectific aspects that we can take into account and I believe that Israel too will have to take note of that." 00:00:29
00:03:10 CUTTAWAYS : 3 shots 00:00:10
00:03:20 END 00:00:00
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