Israel approves deal with EU that excludes settlements - AFP Israel approves deal with EU that excludes settlements - AFP

Israel approves deal with EU that excludes settlements

Sun, Dec. 31, 2017
GAZA CITY - 31 December 2017: The Israeli government gave final approval Sunday to a cooperation agreement with the European Union that contains a provision excluding the settlements, Haaretz reported.

With the approval of the agreement, Israel now de facto agrees to a boycott of the settlements.

The agreement concerns Israel's participation in the EU's “ENI CBC Med” program (or “Cross-Border Cooperation in the Mediterranean”), which provides tens of millions of euros to cooperative projects for countries in the Mediterranean basin that are not EU members.

The program provides major grant support for public and private organizations from participating countries and from the Palestinian Authority.

The program is aimed at promoting socioeconomic development, innovation and competitiveness in a number of fields, including education, research, technology, employment, environmental sustainability – by providing large grants for suitable projects.

In accordance with the EU's standing policy, the terms of the ENI CBC Med agreement include a territorial provision explicitly excluding grants to Israel for projects beyond its 1967 borders – meaning potential recipients in the West Bank, East Al Quds and the Golan Heights cannot participate in the program.

Even though Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev filed an objection to the agreement concerning cross-border cooperation in the Mediterranean area, she was the only one who did and the agreement with the EU was approved automatically – after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the deal a week ago.
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