EU slams Israel on settlements, Temple Mount after council meeting

Published date04 October 2022
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
"The EU calls on Israel to halt continued settlement expansion, which has reached record highs in the past years, evictions, demolitions and forced transfers," the EU stated

It specifically asked Israel not to move forward with construction in the unbuilt E1 neighborhood of the Ma'aleh Adumim settlement and to refrain from evicting Palestinians from illegal herding villages in the Masafer Yatta region of the South Hebron Hills.

With respect to the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, the EU voiced its support for the status quo arrangement in which members of all faiths can visit the site, but only Muslims can pray there.

"The EU recalls … makes a strong call for upholding the status quo put in place in 1967 for the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif" and underscores "the necessity to respect the status quo also for the Christian holy sites, which are under increasing pressure," it stated.

First council meeting since 2012

The meeting had been lauded by both the EU and Israel, as an important milestone in advancing ties, between two strong trading partners.

The council had met annually since its inception in 2000, but ties were strained under former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's leadership and the meetings were suspended after 2012.

The resumption of the annual gathering is seen as a diplomatic coup for Prime Minister Yair Lapid who entered office only in July. He addressed the council in Brussels virtually from Jerusalem, leaving it to the Intelligence Minister Elazar Stern to represent Israel in...

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