Obama regime calls on EU to postpone ban on Israel
US Secretary of State John Kerry has urged the European Union (EU) to delay a planned ban on Israel over the Tel Aviv regime’s continued settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, according to a senior US official.
On July 19, the EU published new guidelines in its Official Journal, banning its 28 members from funding projects in the illegal Israeli settlements in al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank or Golan Heights, which the Tel Aviv regime occupied during the 1967 war.
The ban sparked anger among the Israeli officials, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres threatening that the new directive would undermine attempts by Kerry to relaunch talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
A senior US State Department official, whose name was not mentioned in the reports, said that, in a meeting with EU foreign ministers in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, on Saturday, Kerry called on the Europeans to consider postponing the implementation of the EU guidelines.
Kerry also asked EU diplomats to support the talks between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian Authority, which resumed in July after a three-year hiatus.
Meanwhile, the EU is to send a team to Israel on Monday to move forward on the guidelines against Israeli organizations in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Israel has announced plans to construct more than 3,000 housing units in al-Quds and the occupied West Bank since the resumption of the talks with the Palestinian Authority in July.
On August 11, Israel’s Housing Minister Uri Ariel gave final approval for the construction of 793 settlement units in the occupied east al-Quds (Jerusalem) and 394 others in the West Bank.
A day later, the EU described as “illegal” the Israeli regime’s decision to approve the building of settlement units.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top aide to Mahmoud Abbas, the acting Palestinian Authority (PA) chief, said on September 4 that continued Israeli settlement construction had undermined the talks with Israel.
Palestinians demand that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.