The European Union (EU) has issued a directive requiring Israel to acknowledge the occupation of settlements in the West Bank, Golan Heights and East Jerusalem (al-Quds).
According to a statement released on Tuesday, the move will forbid the issuance of grants, funding, prizes or scholarships unless a settlement exclusion clause is included.
The directive is reportedly 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.
In reaction, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, œWe will not accept any external diktats about our borders.”
After the release of the statement, an emergency meeting was organized in the office of the prime minister where Ze’ev Elkin, Israel‘s rightwing deputy foreign minister, and other ministers called for a strict reaction, an ultimatum to Europe and the suspension of all relations with the EU.
It was finally decided that Netanyahu contact EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton to ask her to delay the official announcement of the decision.
A senior Israeli foreign ministry official said that Netanyahu would have told Ashton that in case of the promulgation of the directive he would face internal pressure not to give any concessions to the Palestinian side, driving peace talks to impasse.
The Tel Aviv regime continues expanding its illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel™s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds in 1967.
On June 26, Israel approved final plans to construct nearly 70 new settler units in East al-Quds.
The units will be built in Har Homa, an illegal settlement neighborhood in the southern sector of the city.
The settlements are considered illegal by the international community because the territories were captured by Israel and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied land.
The continued expansion of the Israeli settlements has also created a major obstacle for the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.