In a joint statement issued by the foreign ministers of the 28-nation bloc, the EU said it “reiterates its strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and actions taken in this context, such as building the separation barrier beyond the 1967 line, demolitions and confiscation—including of EU-funded projects—evictions, forced transfers including of Bedouins, illegal outposts, settler violence, and restrictions of movement and access.”
In particular, the EU called on Israeli authorities “to halt plans for forced transfer of population and demolition of Palestinian housing and infrastructure in the Susya and Abu Nwar communities.”
But the EU also criticized the Palestinian Authority for not taking stronger action in reasserting control over Gaza, which is ruled by the Hamas terrorist group.
“The EU calls on the Palestinian factions to make reconciliation and the return of the PA to Gaza a top priority,” the statement said.
“The PA must take greater responsibility in this regard and assume its government function in the Gaza Strip, including in the field of security, civil administration, and through its presence at the Gaza crossing points,” it added.
The European ministers also endorsed France’s recent proposal for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations and called for an “international support group” to be formed to back the French effort.