WASHINGTON - The European Union reissued calls for the unconditional cessation of violence and terror by Palestinian groups against Israel, German Ambassador to the United Nations Thomas Matussek said Tuesday in a speech to the Security Council.
The EU condemned the terror attack in Eilat and urged the Palestinian leadership to do everything to stop terrorism and bring those responsible for terror attacks to justice.
At the Security Council’s monthly conference on the situation in the Middle East and “the Palestinian question”, the German ambassador said the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the greatest threat to the Mideast, and possibly the entire world.
Speaking on behalf of the EU, Matussek said the Europeans were determined to be involved in the peace process. He called on Israel to immediately transfer withheld tax monies to the Palestinian Authority and boost the Palestinian economy by opening border crossings.
While praising Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for their confidence-building moves, the EU expressed its concern over “settlement activity” and construction around Jerusalem which violates international law and the Road Map plan for peace.
Muslims slam IsraelThe EU will not recognize any changes to the 1967 borders except those approved by both sides, Matussek declared, referring to Israel's borders before the Six-day War during which the Jewish state captured the West Bank.
UN representatives of Muslim and non-aligned nations attacked Israel for the exchange of fire with the Lebanese army along the border, as well as for the construction work at the Mugrabi Gate area in Jerusalem.
Alvaro de Soto, the UN special envoy for the Middle East, said during his monthly report to the council on development in the region, expressed concern over Israel’s construction and archeological excavations by the Mugrabi Gate. He drew attention to the extreme reaction in the Arab and Muslim world, noting that “even the Israeli defense minister said it constituted a security threat.”
Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman, however, said the Mugrabi Gate works were totally blown out of proportion. Gillerman warned, however, that contrary to Jerusalem, the situation in Lebanon poses a true cause of concern and obligates immediate action. Hizbullah’s rearmament and the Tuesday morning bus bombing in Lebanon represent “the true situation in the Middle East,” Gillerman said.
Turning his attention to the Mecca Agreement between the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, Gillerman said, "The international community ruled clearly that any Palestinian government should fully adopt the tree conditions: recognizing Israel, stopping and denouncing terror attacks, accepting and implementing all agreements signed with Israel."