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European Union to upgrade relations with Israel despite severe violations of international law.

Ramallah / PNN - Prime Minister Dr. Salam Fayyad expressed disappointment at the decision of the European Council of Ministers to upgrade relations between the European Union and Israel. Fayyad said on Wednesday that an "important opportunity had been missed to positively influence Israel toward the direction of the rules of international law." The European parliament had postponed the vote last week during the rampant attacks by Israeli settlers in the southern West Bank's Hebron. Dr. Mustafa Barghouthi of the Legislative Council and the Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative said that if the European Council voted to upgrade relations it would be condoning the Israeli occupation and its dismissal of international law.Dr. Fayyad said today that he had hoped that Europe would use the opportunity to compel the Israeli administration to abide international law. The United Nations accused the Israeli administration of war crimes today and suggested that leaders being indicted in the International Criminal Court, yet still relations with Europe are being upgraded. Dr. Fayyad said he had hoped that the Israeli administration would, "in the spirit of partnership between the EU and Israel," adopt "respect for human rights."The Prime Minister added that the message does serve to condone "Israeli practices and violations of international law, as well as obligations in accordance with agreements and understandings, including the first phase of the Road Map which included the need for Israel to halt construction of all settlement activities."Fayyad said that the decision came in contrast with the positive spirit of the discussions that took place in the European Parliament on the third this month regarding Israel's accession to Union programs, and the Parliament's decision to postpone a decision on the subject.

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Publication:Palestine News Network (West Bank, Palestine)
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Dec 10, 2008
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