Israeli construction in West Bank
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Sarkozy with Abbas in Paris
Photo: AFP
Netanyahu. Approved units
Photo: Flash 90

PA considering asking EU for sanctions against Israel

Palestinian official tells Ynet, 'Every country in world believes danger to peace is Israeli settlement policy, so we must translate this into sanctions'. Abbas says meeting with Netanyahu contingent upon construction freeze

A Palestinian Authority official told Ynet Friday that his government would consider asking the European Union to impose sanctions on Israel following the prime minister's decision to approve construction plans in West Bank settlements.


The official said the PA had previously considered the diplomatic move. "There is not a country in the world that doesn't believe the danger to peace is Israeli policy, and especially its settlement policy, so we must actualize this concept and translate it into sanctions."


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also responded to Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to approve the construction of more housing units in settlements. "The Israeli government's stance on the spurring of construction is unproductive and we reject it," he told reporters in Paris.


"We want a total freeze of construction in settlements," Abbas added, and said this was a condition for a meeting with Netanyahu. "We want peace that will bring about the establishment of an independent Palestinian state living beside Israel. An end to the conflict is in the interest of the entire world."  

Abbas with French President Nicolas Sarkozy (Photo: Reuters)


Earlier Friday an aide to Netanyahu said, "The prime minister plans to approve the construction of hundreds of news housing units in Judea and Samaria, before the freeze."


Top Jerusalem sources also stressed that Israel would continue the construction of some 2,500 housing units in the West Bank that is already underway.


The first to respond to the report was top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, who said the planned Israeli move was "unacceptable".


"I think the only thing that will be suspended by this announcement is the peace process," Erekat said.


The Palestinian official went on to say that European officials were expressing discontent with Israel's policies. "We want what is said behind closed doors – the strict objection to Israeli policies – to be supported by action," he said.


"Any Israeli company working in the settlements in any field whatsoever needs to know that the European market will be closed before it," he added.


"We believe Europe is ready for such a move, despite the noise Israel is making. We need to work so that they are politically ready for such a move, in order to withstand pressure from Americans and other interested parties."


פרסום ראשון: 09.04.09, 16:23
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