At a cabinet meeting Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
decided that Israel
will not sign additional agreements with the European Union, such as a scientific cooperation agreement, due to the expected EU
limitations on the settlements.
At the end of the meeting, State officials said that the EU's decision significantly harms the process of renewing negotiations with the Palestinians.
The meeting, convened by Netanyahu, was attended by Ministers Tzipi Livni
, Naftali Bennett, Yair Lapid,
Ya'akov Peri, Shai Piron, Yair Shamir and Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin.
Following the meeting, State officials clarified that Israel will request further clarifications from Europe in order to better understand the meaning of the limitations of the EU on activities beyond the 1967 border lines.
Three weeks ago, the EU High Commission announced its intentions to distinguish between Israeli entities working within the 1967 border lines and those operating beyond them. The decision, which is expected to take effect in 2014 until 2020, surprised the cabinet in Jerusalem as well as the Israeli foreign Ministry.
The decision to exclude settlements from European funding was revealed on the eve of the American announcement regarding the renewal of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The EU limitations were preceded by numerous warnings, which were not well-received in Israel.
The EU decision cast a shadow on significant agreements which were supposed to be signed by Israel in the near future. According to the cabinet meeting held Thursday, the Israeli government is not expected to sign any additional agreements with the European Union as long as there is a distinction between activities within the 1967 border lines and activities in the settlements.
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