US IS NOT NEUTRAL IN ISRAELI-PALESTINIAN TALKS: NOAM CHOMSKY

       Geneva, 20 Ramadhan1434/28 Juli 2013 (MINA) – “The US-brokered resumption of talks between Israel and the Palestinians likely will not amount to much, but Europe could change that if it were willing to break from American policies supporting Israel,” Chomsky told reporters Friday in Geneva.

      “It’s hard to be optimistic, but Europe could play a role,” said Chomsky. “By and large, Europe has not developed an independent Middle East policy.”

       Europe “consistently follows the US stand which punishes Palestinians whose land is settled by Israelis, and there’s no reason why Europe should support illegal settlements,” he noted.

        the European Union’s recent decision to ban the funding of and cooperation with Israeli institutions operating beyond the pre-1967 lines.

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       More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.

       The United Nations and most countries regard the Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel during 1967 war and are hence subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.

         Meanwhile the European Union (EU) expressed concern Friday over Israeli army minister Moshe Ya’alon’s order to suspend the Israeli-EU joint projects across the West Bank, and to deny EU representatives travel permits to freely more to the Gaza Strip via Israel. 

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         The order followed the European Union’s recent decision to ban the funding of and cooperation with Israeli institutions operating beyond the pre-1967 lines.

         Reuters reported earlier Friday an Israeli official confirming the measures were ordered in reponse to the EU’s directive.

         Ya’alon’s decision includes that Israeli army stop to provide any assistance to the EU representatives working on humanitarian projects in the West Bank’s Area C, which is un  der full Israeli civilian and military control.

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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