(P)GCC hails ban on Israel settlements

Laborers working at the construction site of a new housing project at the settlement of Gilo in al-Quds on December 20, 2012.

The (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council [(P)GCC] has hailed the European Unionâ„¢s plans to ban the bloc from funding projects in Israeli settlements built on Palestinian territories.

The six-member state council welcomed “the European Union’s decision which they hope will back international efforts to revive peace talks between Palestinians and Israel, and press Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian territories,” Secretary-General of the Council Abdullatif al-Zayani, said on Saturday.

The EU published new guidelines in its Official Journal on Friday, banning its 28 members from funding projects in Israeli settlements in al-Quds (Jerusalem), the West Bank or Golan Heights, which the Tel Aviv regime occupied during the 1967 war.

Zayani said the EU ban was Å“wise” and Å“reflects the EU’s solid stance in rejecting Israel’s settlement policy and its confiscating of Palestinian territories in a clear violation of all agreements, international law, and UN resolutions.”

The Guidelines are part of the 2014-20 financial frameworks which incorporate all sectors of cooperation between the EU and Israel, including economics, science, culture, sports and academia.

On Thursday, Israeli officials met with the British, French, and German ambassadors over the EU ban, claiming that the move would lead to a serious crisis between Israel and the EU.

Earlier in the day, Israeli President Shimon Peres joined the chorus of Israeli officials criticizing the EU decision. He claimed that the new directive would undermine attempts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to relaunch peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The Tel Aviv regime has increased its illegal settlement expansion following an upgrade of Palestineâ„¢s status at the UN to a non-member observer state on November 29, 2012.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds. The international community considers the settlements illegal.

SAB/SS

Republished with permission from: Press TV