EU statements not helping to halt Israeli settlements
The annual EU-Israel Association Council meeting, the highest political forum between both sides, took place in Brussels today.
In reaction to the outcomes of the meeting, Jeremy Hobbs, Oxfam International's Executive Director, said:
"Europe's condemnation of Israel's settlement expansion is welcome but words alone mean nothing when people's lives keep worsening.
"Similar statements came out of last year's EU-Israel Association Council. Yet we've seen a sharp rise in new settlement construction across the West Bank. Meanwhile, Palestinian displacement and Israeli-led demolition of Palestinian homes and water cisterns, many of which were funded by EU taxpayers, has increased.
"To see positive change on the ground, Europe needs to step up and take a leadership role. EU governments must match their words with urgent and concrete measures to push for an immediate end to settlement construction and the unlawful demolition of Palestinian civilian infrastructure.”
Notes to Editors
Download: "Words are not enough: The continued growth of Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory." Despite repeated declarations by the European Union - Israel's largest trade partner and biggest aid provider for the Palestinians - the Israeli government has continued to actively expand settlement construction.
In Jerusalem : Willow Heske, Oxfam Media Lead for the OPTI, +972 (0) 597133646 or firstname.lastname@example.org
In Brussels : Angela Corbalan, Oxfam EU Media Lead, + 32 (0) 473 56 22 60 or email@example.com