EU foreign chief says Israel must respect UN court, control settler violence in the West Bank

EU foreign chief says Israel must respect UN court, control settler violence in the West Bank

The Associated Press reports:

The European Union’s foreign policy chief insisted Sunday that Israel must abide by the U.N. top court’s rulings and end its offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and, at the same time, questioned the possible involvement of authorities in the settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

On a day that visiting Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa basked in the attention after two EU nations and Norway pledged to recognize a Palestinian state, Josep Borrell further pressured Israel to take immediate actions to make sure that tax income meant for the Palestinian authorities is no longer stopped.

The demands came at the end of the week that saw the international community put increasing pressure on Israel to fundamentally change the course of the war it wages on Hamas in the Gaza Strip through international court action and diplomatic maneuvering.

Borrell insisted Israel had driven the Palestinians to the edge of a catastrophe because “the situation in Gaza is beyond words. The occupied West Bank is on the brink, risking an explosion any time.”

While most of the global attention is centered on Gaza, Borrell said that “we should not forget what’s happening in the West Bank,” where the seat of the Palestinian Authority is based.

“There we see an intensified spiral of violence. Indiscriminate and punishing attacks by extremist settlers, more and more targeting humanitarian aid heading to Gaza. And they are heavily armed. And the question is, who is arming them? And who is not preventing this attack from happening,” Borrell said.

Rights groups and Palestinian residents have said that Israeli forces often provide an umbrella of security to armed settlers attacking Palestinian towns and nomadic communities.

Such settler violence, Borrell said, “is coupled with unprecedented Israeli settlement expansions and land grabbing.” [Continue reading…]

Comments are closed.