File photo shows an illegal Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.
The European Union has called on its 27 member states not to use the EU programs to support illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.
The EU heads of mission in al-Quds (Jerusalem) and Ramallah issued an internal report on Wednesday, stating that the Israeli regime’s settlement expansion was ‘systematic, deliberate and provocative.’
The EU programs should not be “used to support settlements and settlement-related activity, including funding for research, education or technological cooperation,” the report said.
The Tel Aviv regime has increased its illegal settlement expansion following an upgrade of Palestine’s status at the UN to a non-member observer state on November 29, 2012.
The Israeli regime plans to build more than 5,000 new settler units in East al-Quds, despite objections from the international community.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds. Much of the international community considers the settlements illegal.
In January, the United Nations called on the Israeli regime to cease all its settlement activities without preconditions in compliance with article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. However, Tel Aviv has remained defiant.
On December 19, 2012, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned that Tel Aviv’s continued settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories could inflict “an almost fatal blow” to future talks between Palestinians and Israelis.