As for the EU claim that developing E-1 could entail the forced transfer of civilian population, E-1 is an area almost empty of residents. The only Palestinians living there are illegally dwelling in the area. In this connection it is important to note that no Israeli settlement activity has ever led to any transfer of Palestinian populations.
The EU also ignores the fact that the PA is creating facts on the ground in East Jerusalem. In 2001, the late PLO leader Faisal Huseini said that building without permits in the Jerusalem area was one of the Palestinian weapons in the struggle against Israel. Today more than 40% of the houses in East Jerusalem are built illegally. Muhammed Nahal, an expert on urban planning employed by the PA, also drew up a plan to construct three Palestinian cities around Jerusalem. This was done in order to surround Jewish neighborhoods. The second intifada prevented the execution of the plan.
At the end of its statement about the Middle East Peace Process the EU calls again for intra-Palestinian reconciliation as an important element for the unity of a future Palestinian state and for reaching a two state solution.
This statement was followed by a condemnation of “inflammatory statements by Hamas leaders that deny Israel’s right to exist.”
According to Israeli officials four EU countries even tried to block the condemnation of these “inflammatory statements.” The fact is that these are not merely statements but official Hamas policy.
Hamas is convinced that relentless attacks on the Israeli population will eventually cause the collapse of Israeli society and thereby the demise the state of Israel.
It is hard to fathom why the EU favors reconciliation efforts between the PA and Hamas in order to reach a two state solution while at the same time it admits that Hamas leaders call for Israel’s demise.
The speech of Hamas leader Khaled Mashal during his recent visit to Gaza made clear that Hamas cannot be a partner in any peace process and that the terrorist organization will never recognize the state of Israel.
According to Mashal all the territory of what is now Israel belongs to the Palestinians. He said that there will be no relinquishing or forsaking ofeven an inch or small part of it.
These statements drew no immediate condemnation by the European Union. On the contrary, two days after Mashal made these statements the EU again called for reconciliation between Hamas and the PA as an important element for reaching a deal on the two state solution.
Condemning Israeli construction in E-1, calling for Palestinian unity, voting for a unilateral Palestinian state, and ignoring Hamas’ calls for Israel’s destruction all show how detached the European Union has become and how Palestinian propaganda has influenced European decision making.
A version of this article was originally published at the Missing Peace.