EU lays down red lines to Israel concerning Temple Mount

'No change to Muslim holy site or new settlements'

22 October, 19:35

    early in the morning at the  Mount of Olives Promenade [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20131002 ] early in the morning at the Mount of Olives Promenade [ARCHIVE MATERIAL 20131002 ]

    (by Massimo Lomonaco) (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, OCTOBER 22 - The EU has warned Israel that tenders for and construction of new homes in the Palestinian Territories over the 1967 Green Line, or an attempt to modify the status of Temple Mount, would ''would constitute one more grave 'fact on the ground' which would be liable to crucially prejudge the outcome of peace negotiations''.

    This warning is part of a two-page document that Eu representative to Israel Lars Faaborg Andersen will be relaying to Israel's foreign minister, reported Haaretz on Wednesday.

    Crossing these red lines may lead to sanctions against Israeli settlements in the West Bank. On Wednesday in Berlin, by US Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated that the current status quo between Israel and Palestine must be maintained. Ramallah would like to change the situation - despite firm opposition from the US and Israel - through the presentation to the UN Security Council of a resolution to recognize Palestine as a State and for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory by 2016. If the US vetoes the move within the Security Council, many Palestinians - including chief negotiator Saeb Erekat - say it will be necessary to break off all collaborative security efforts with Israel and an immediate recourse to all UN agencies. The EU's red lines reportedly apply to settlement building in Givat Hamatos, in the E1 zone between Maale' Adunim and Jerusalem and in the Har Homa settlement near Jerusalem, which the EU feels would undermine any future Palestinian state and seriously compromise peace talks. Brussels also noted that it rejects Israel's plans to ''forcibly'' move 12,000 West Bank Bedouins into a new city in the Jordan Valley. The document calls for Israel to halt the plan and to reassess the move alongside Bedouin and Palestinian Authority representatives. In reference to alleged, unconfirmed Israeli plans to divide Temple Mount to enable Jews to pray there, the EU said that any attempt to change the 'status quo' of the site would be dangerous and lead to higher tension and instability. Israel has not yet replied to the document. (ANSAmed).

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