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EU slams Israel and calls for sanctions against it

Israel will doubtlessly dismiss the Report, but can one that readily ignore what the EU has determined and advocated?

"Israel's construction in east Jerusalem is a deliberate strategy to prevent the city from becoming capital of two states, an internal EU report found Wednesday, urging members to block funding for any settlement activities.

In its Jerusalem Report 2012, a copy of which was seen by AFP, the European Union said Jewish settlement construction posed "the biggest single threat to the two-state solution".
And it outlined a series of recommendations urging member states to halt or avoid any financial investment or transactions which could directly or indirectly feed into Israel's settlement-building enterprise -- in an effective call for economic sanctions.


Written by the EU heads of mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the strongly-worded report described Israel's settlement construction in east Jerusalem as "systematic, deliberate and provocative", accusing the Jewish state of making deliberate political choices that threaten to render the two-state solution impossible."


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"The report also highlighted Israel's plans to build 3,426 units in E1 -- a deeply sensitive strip of West Bank land east of Jerusalem, saying if implemented, it would effectively cut the West Bank in half. 

It was the decision to build in E1 as a punishment for the Palestinians winning upgraded membership at the United Nations that saw Europe's frustration peak late last year, sparking Israeli fears that the EU could call for economic sanctions.


The 27-member bloc is Israel's largest import and export market and accounts for about a third of the Jewish state's total trade.


The report makes six recommendations on economic issues, suggesting member states "prevent, discourage and raise awareness about problematic implications of financial transactions, including foreign direct investments, from within the EU in support of settlement activities, infrastructure and services."


It also urges member states "ensure that imports of settlement products do not benefit from preferential tariffs" and that all such products are clearly labelled as originating from areas considered illegal under international law."

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