EU concerned by Israel's restrictions of union's WB, Gaza activity

Following defense minister's announcement that IDF is to minimize cooperation with EU representatives, humanitarian aid staff denied entrance to Gaza; EU concerned by Israeli measures, seeks 'clarifications'

Spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, responded Friday to Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's decision to suspend contacts with the EU in the West Bank, saying "The EU is concerned by reports in the Israeli media that the Israeli Minister of Defense has announced a number of restrictions affecting EU activities supporting the Palestinian people."


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Speaking in Brussels, spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said "We have not received any official communication from the Israeli authorities. Our delegations on the spot are seeking urgent clarifications," Kocijancic added.


A Western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Friday that due to the Israel's restrictions on EU activity in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, several European humanitarian aid staff had failed to receive permits to enter the Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip. 


On Thursday, Ya'alon instructed the IDF and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories to stop cooperating with EU representatives in the West Bank and Gaza. The defense minister's decision came in response to the European Union's decision to ban contracts with Israel pertaining to disputed territories.


According to a defense establishment source, the Israeli decision was taken in a bid to send a clear message to the EU, stressing that any move to boycott Israeli actions beyond the green-line "turns the organization into a biased mediator in negotiations, and as such it must face the consequences."



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פרסום ראשון: 07.26.13, 21:01
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