Palestinians urge European Union to drop Israel upgrade

By Jennifer Lipman, August 8, 2012
José Manuel Barroso

José Manuel Barroso

The Palestinian Authority has called on the European Union "to reconsider" upgrading relations with Israel.

Last month the EU boosted its trade and diplomatic ties with the Jewish State. The European Commission's Action Plan is intended to enhance the "scope and intensity of political co-operation" between the two.

But in a letter from the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, the EU is urged to freeze this co-operation with Israel in order to block "further integration of Israel into the EU" and "safeguard the two state-solution".

"Israel must not be given any preferential treatment and must not be allowed further integration into the EU economic, social, political and scientific structures," said the letter, which was published by the Times of Israel. "Especially as it persists with its violations of international law, refuses to end its occupation of the Palestinian Territory and continues to deny Palestinians their right to self-determination."

The letter also urged the EU to "find mechanisms" to prevent settlement produce from "receiving any preferential treatment".

Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, accused the Palestinians of slander and said the claims made against in Israel in the letter were reminiscent of the famous antisemitic hoax, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Last updated: 10:11am, August 8 2012