Wednesday, December 12, 2018

EU Foreign Policy Chief cancels visit to Israel


By Alicia Ramos Perez - June 13, 2018
TAGS:
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [European Union] [Benjamin Netanyahu] [UN]

The chief for the European Union’s foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, has cancelled her official visit to Jerusalem, was scheduled for May 10. 

According to The Times of Israel, Mogherini was set to visit Jerusalem to take part in the American Jewish Committee’s Annual Global Forum conference – a pro-Israeli non-governmental organisation – on May 11.
 
According to Israeli news sources quoted in Middle East Monitor, “Mogherini cancelled her trip to Israel after Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu declined to meet her.”
 
Later, in a statement to Israeli Hebrew-language news outlets, Prime Minister Netanyahu and his office stated that they could not meet the EU leader as they claimed they had 'scheduling problems’.
 
The European Union said that Mogherini’s visit was initially only planned for Jordan, however the possibility of arriving to the conference in Jerusalem was considered after the official invitation to attend the opening of US embassy in Jerusalem.
 
This news comes as Mogherini has been criticised by Netanyahu and his office. In fact, as stated in Haaretz news, diplomatic sources specified that “her position towards Israel is very hostile,” and was the reason why Netanyahu cancelled his meeting the first stance.
 
The Foreign Policy chief has taken a stand and publicly criticised Israel’s response to the Great Return March’s peaceful demonstrations in Gaza. She has also rejected the US decision to transfer their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and warned about the repercussions this decision would have.
 
Israel has urged the EU to stop funding more than a dozen European and Palestinian NGOs pro-BDS groups across Europe.
 
In light of the revolving events, EU’s position towards the Palestinian-Israeli conflict has always been indecisive. The EU has failed to hold Israel accountable for breaches of International law and the Geneva Convention.
 
However, an EU press release updated on February 2018 stated that “the Commission had approved to advance 15 million Euros to support the Palestinian Authority central budget. These actions demonstrate the Commission’s commitment to supporting the Palestinian Authority during a period of financial and economic crisis.”
 
As Wafa News stated on June 11, “The EU's support to the Palestinian Authority cash transfer program is a commitment to the welfare of vulnerable families in the West Bank and Gaza.”
 
The cancelled meeting with Netanyahu arrives a week before the UN General Assembly’s emergency meeting on protecting Palestinians. This was announced by the body’s president, Miroslav Lajcak on June 8. The meeting will discuss the Israeli aggression over the Gaza Strip.
 
It will vote on an Arab-backed resolution on Gaza. The resolution will be similar to the one vetoed by the US in the Security Council on June 1. The vetoed resolution was calling for the protection of Palestinians during their peaceful Great Return March. Though, the resolutions voted by the General Assembly are not legally binding, in difference with the ones voted in the Security Council.
 
In line of the international community, the EU leaders have expressed concern, however, have failed to take concrete steps to hold Israel accountable for its crimes.
 

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