Israel`s east Jerusalem policy threatens peace: EU

EU warned that Israel`s policies on east Jerusalem were against peace.

Jerusalem: Israel`s policies in occupied
east Jerusalem are harming the prospect of the Palestinians
having their future capital there, which "seriously endangers"
a two-state solution, the EU said Tuesday.

"If current trends are not stopped as a matter of
urgency, the prospect of east Jerusalem as the future capital
of a Palestinian state becomes increasingly unlikely and
unworkable," warns an annual EU report.

"This in turn seriously endangers the chances of a
sustainable peace on the basis of two states, with Jerusalem
as their future capital."

The Jerusalem Report 2010, which was put together by
the EU heads of mission based in the Holy City as well as
those based in the West Bank city of Ramallah, contains a
series of EU policy recommendations.

The report examines Israel`s expansion of settlement
activity in east Jerusalem alongside its restrictive planning
policies and the continuing demolitions and evictions there,
warning they have "serious humanitarian consequences."

But such policies were also harming east Jerusalem`s
"crucial role" in Palestinian political, economic, social and
cultural life, and causing it to be increasingly isolated from
the rest of the occupied West Bank, it warned.

It said that Israel`s attempts to exclusively
emphasise the Jewish identity of the city threatened to
"radicalise the conflict, with potential regional and global
repercussions."

And it said the EU was increasingly concerned about
Israel`s "use of archaeology as a political-ideological tool"
in a bid to cement the Jewish state`s hold over the entire
city.

Israel occupied and annexed east Jerusalem in 1967 and
considers it its "eternal indivisible capital," in a move
never recognised by the international community.

The future of east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians
want as the capital of their promised state, is one of the
most sensitive issues in the Middle East peace talks, which
have been deadlocked since the end of September in a row over
Jewish settlement building in the occupied territories.

Bureau Report