European Union representatives have said Israel’s policies in Arab East Jerusalem hurt the prospects of a final agreement on the city with the Palestinians, The New York Times said on Friday.
The paper said a report by the EU’s diplomatic representatives in East Jerusalem and Ramallah to the 25-member group’s foreign ministers recommended a more aggressive policy toward Israeli policies in East Jerusalem.
It accused Israel of increasing illegal settlement activity in and around East Jerusalem and of using the route of its separation barrier “to seal off most of East Jerusalem, with its 230,000 Palestinian residents, from the West Bank” and to create a “de facto annexation of Palestinian land,” the paper said.
Israeli policies “are reducing the possibility of reaching a final-status agreement on Jerusalem that any Palestinian could accept,” said the report, which the Times said it had obtained “from someone who wanted to publicize it.”
“Israeli measures also risk radicalizing the hitherto relatively quiescent Palestinian population of East Jerusalem,” the paper quoted the report as saying.
The authors of the report recommended that the EU ask Israel “to halt discriminatory treatment of Palestinians in East Jerusalem, especially concerning working permits, building permits, house demolitions, taxation and expenditure,” it said.
The Times said EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday decided not to publish the report and instead asked for a “detailed EU analysis on East Jerusalem to be adopted and made public” at their next meeting in mid-December.
Israel seized East Jerusalem, along with the rest of the West Bank and Gaza, in the 1967 Middle East War and claims the city as its “united and eternal capital.” Palestinians want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state of their own.