The EU’s attempt to suppress their own report slamming Israel has failed miserably. The report ripped Israel to pieces over Israel’s remorseless and unapologetic designs to annex East Jerusalem and claim the entire city for themselves, in direct violation of international law.
Italy, considered by Israel to be it’s most trustworthy ally in Europe opposed the publication of the report (to the point of denying that the report even existed) and eventually managed to persuade the EU to bury it. Until the New York Times uncovered it. Since then, the cause of publicising the report has fallen upon the shoulders of Palestinians, Israelis, peace activists, et al who have posted the report in its entirety on the Internet. In the aftermath, the EU (especially the EU’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana) now says that it’s decision to keep the report under wraps is because it felt the report was one-sided and might jeopordize what the EU sees as it’s growing influence in the Middle East. The reality is Israel went ballistic over the report.
The report, drafted by British diplomats in East Jerusalem and submitted to a meeting of the EU’s foreign ministers by Great Britain , concludes that Israel is attempting to annex East Jerusalem once and for all. The report states that this is being slowly, but surely accomplished by completing the wall around East Jerusalem, increasing Jewish settlements, and decreasing Palestinian homes in the area.
When the wall around East Jerusalem is completed, the West Bank will be cut in half and Israel will have total control over access to and from East Jerusalem. Economically, this will be devastating to the West Bank inhabitants who depend on East Jerusalem for as much as one-third of their economy. Israel wields a further economic hammer in the form of control over work permits that allow non-Jerusalem residents (read: West Bank Palestinians) to work in Jerusalem.
Physically walling off East Jerusalem isn’t enough for Israel. It is entrenching itself in the city by increasing the number of Jewish settlements in the area and using less than above-board tactics to reduce the Palestinian population. Obtaining a building permit in East Jerusalem is almost impossible and a large number of Palestinian homes in the city were built without the requisite permits. Using this lack of a permit as an excuse, Israel has and continues to demolish the homes of Palestinians.
There is nothing subtle about Israel’s actions. They are designed to inflame an already tense atmosphere and to inflict as much physical and economic hardship as possible on the Palestinian inhabitants of East Jerusalem and the West Bank. The results will be inevitable, as the EU report concluded:
This will have serious economic, social and humanitarian consequences for the Palestinians. Palestinians are, without exception, deeply alarmed about East
Jerusalem. They fear that Israel will “get away with it”, under the cover of
disengagement. Israeli actions also risk radicalising the hitherto
relatively quiescent Palestinian population in East Jerusalem.