By Ilana Messika/TPS
MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beitenu) tabled on Wednesday a bill that would allow European diplomats to be sued for supporting illegal Palestinian Authority construction in Area C.
The proposal would remove foreign diplomats’ immunity from prosecution if they undertake actions designed to assist in terrorism against Israel, human trafficking or illegal construction.
“Immunity granted to foreign countries, however important, cannot be used to legitimize activities which will as a consequence harm the State of Israel or its citizens,” stated Forer.
Forer added that should the bill be approved, it will make easier for the Israel to defend itself against such practices holding the EU criminally accountable for its diplomats’ activities.
Along with Forer, the bill was sponsored by 11 MKs from the Likud, Jewish Home and Yisrael Beitenu parties, along with Zionist Union MK Eitan Broshi.
The bill comes on the heels of protests by residents of Ma’ale Adumim, right-wing activists and politicians and in particular the Regavim organization against illegal construction in the E1 Area, the northeastern slope connecting Jerusalem to the Jordan Valley, especially the area around Ma’ale Adumim.
Last May, Regavim released a report accusing the EU of having turned from humanitarian aid and diplomatic assistance to active political intervention by supporting Palestinian Authority illegal construction. The group says the construction is an indirect move to create a Palestinian state on the disputed territory.
Regavim had initially filed a petition to the Israeli High Court of Justice in June in order to remove the EU’s diplomatic immunity over those violations, but the petition was rejected.
Also Wednesday, EU Representative Ralph Tarraf and Palestinian Authority Minister of Local Government Hussein al-Araj announced the inauguration of the first batch of EU-funded social infrastructure projects in Area C.
”The EU works with the Palestinian Authority to develop Area C and support the Palestinian presence there,” stated Tarraf.
“The EU supports projects promoting economic development and improving the quality of life of Palestinian communities in Area C in the areas of private sector development, the environment and agriculture. Area C is part of the occupied Palestinian territory and will be part of any viable future Palestinian state,” he concluded.TPS / Tazpit News Agency