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Parliamentary questions
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20 February 2015
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the Commission
Question reference: P-010914/2014

On 17 November 2014 the EU Foreign Affairs Council underlined its concern at the dire humanitarian situation in Gaza. The EU also deeply deplored recent land expropriations, settlement construction, and continued demolitions. The EU urged Israel to reverse these decisions, which run counter to international law. So far, Israeli responses to our calls to put an end to the continued demolitions have not been satisfactory.

Regarding settlements, the EU maintains its long-standing position not to recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including East Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties. The EU considers that settlements are illegal under international law.

Moreover, the EU has repeatedly stressed the need for Israel to respect International Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law for issues related to Bedouins in the West Bank. Matters related to Bedouins in Israel are adressed more specifically within the framework of the EU/Israel Informal Working Group on Human Rights.

The EU is neither considering sanctions towards Israel nor looking into a review of the Association Agreement. We remain convinced that political engagement is the most effective way to convey our concerns. However, the EU has put on hold since June 2009 the upgrading of the EU-Israel relations pending progress in the Peace Process and implementation of shared values. Furthermore, the EU has adopted guidelines to ensure that EU funding only benefit entities or activities within the pre-1967 borders. It is also ensuring continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlements products.

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