EU decides Modi'in is West Bank settlement

By Sandy Rashty, August 15, 2012
Yuli Edelstein

Yuli Edelstein

Israeli officials have launched a protest against the European Union’s decision to list a Jewish area as a West Bank settlement for the first time.

Modi'in, Maccabim and Reut are now considered "no man’s land" according to the latest list released by the EU.

The district, located halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, is “an integral part of Israel” according to a statement released by Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

The change will significantly affect the area, now treated as a West Bank settlement, as trade exports to the EU will no longer be eligible for tax breaks made under the Israel-EU free-trade agreement.

The basis of the EU decision stems from the parts of the district having been constructed before Israel officially took the area in the 1967 war.

The Foreign Ministry challenged the move and said that the EU “ignores reality when it extends the domain of conflict to places and issues that do not belong there.

“The EU unacceptably cut off a negotiating process regarding this very issue".

However, the EU’s mission in Israel challenged the Foreign Ministry comments as only three postcodes in the area are included on the list.

Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs, said: “We will submit a complaint with the European authorities about this unjust and mistaken decision, which is like a boycott measure.”

Last updated: 6:06pm, August 15 2012