How the EU Is Undermining International Law in the West Bank

Dec. 29 2022

The 1995 agreement known as Oslo II divided the West Bank into three parts: Area A, to be administered directly by the Palestinian Authority (PA); Area B, to be administered jointly by the PA and Israel; and Area C, to be controlled directly by Israel pending further negotiations. In July, the European Union’s mission in eastern Jerusalem produced a document, recently leaked to the press, stating the EU’s commitment “to contribute to building a Palestinian State within 1967 borders,” and outlining a program to build Palestinian settlements in Area C even where not authorized to do so by Israeli law. Jenny Aharon writes:

The EU . . . insists that its positions are based on meticulous compliance with international law, its own laws and charter, and also the Oslo Accords. This claim is surely [belied] by the leaked document in which we can see an activist EU striving to help the Palestinians take over Area C, the very area that is designated to Israel’s control per the Oslo Accords preliminary agreement which the EU claims to uphold.

The claim [made by the EU] is that the construction is meant for humanitarian ends and is not politically motivated. Yet the EU construction takes place in locations that are highly sensitive, precisely for the purpose of creating new facts on the ground and preparing the area for a Palestinian takeover without any final peace agreement.

Oftentimes the political motivation [of EU-funded construction projects] is obvious, as it is conducted without permits and in such places where Israel has no choice but to demolish it—for example, a school adjacent to a dangerous highway or in places where there are no facilities and thus are not considered habitable environments. The political motivation becomes even more obvious as the document explicitly states the EU’s plan to curb Israel’s archeological activities in order to minimize the Jewish connection to the land.

Moreover, the EU does not seem to consider building in Area A and Area B where all they would need is a permit from the Palestinian Authority. Apparently, in those areas, there is no need for humanitarian aid at all.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: European Union, International Law, Oslo Accords, West Bank

Israel Is Courting Saudi Arabia by Confronting Iran

Most likely, it was the Israeli Air Force that attacked eastern Syria Monday night, apparently destroying a convoy carrying Iranian weapons. Yoav Limor comments:

Israel reportedly carried out 32 attacks in Syria in 2022, and since early 2023 it has already struck 25 times in the country—at the very least. . . . The Iranian-Israeli clash stands out in the wake of the dramatic events in the region, chiefly among them is the effort to strike a normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and later on with various other Muslim-Sunni states. Iran is trying to torpedo this process and has even publicly warned Saudi Arabia not to “gamble on a losing horse” because Israel’s demise is near. Riyadh is unlikely to heed that demand, for its own reasons.

Despite the thaw in relations between the kingdom and the Islamic Republic—including the exchange of ambassadors—the Saudis remain very suspicious of the Iranians. A strategic manifestation of that is that Riyadh is trying to forge a defense pact with the U.S.; a tactical manifestation took place this week when Saudi soccer players refused to play a match in Iran because of a bust of the former Revolutionary Guard commander Qassem Suleimani, [a master terrorist whose militias have wreaked havoc throughout the Middle East, including within Saudi borders].

Of course, Israel is trying to bring Saudi Arabia into its orbit and to create a strong common front against Iran. The attack in Syria is ostensibly unrelated to the normalization process and is meant to prevent the terrorists on Israel’s northern border from laying their hands on sophisticated arms, but it nevertheless serves as a clear reminder for Riyadh that it must not scale back its fight against the constant danger posed by Iran.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Syria