The European Union decided on Monday not to publish a report which includes critical information on Israeli settlement activities in East Jerusalem, and on the route of the Separation Wall around the city.

Jack Straw, British Foreign secretary, who chaired the meeting of the EU foreign ministers, said that it is inappropriate to publish this report as Israel is heading towards elections, and that the “EU does not intend to get involved in Israeli politics in the run-up to the elections.
 
Israeli online daily Haaretz reported on Monday that the E.U published an annual report on the state of human rights in the globe, and called on Israel to freeze its settlement construction and expansion, in addition to halting the construction of the Separation Wall in the occupied West Bank, including areas in and around Jerusalem.   
 
Meanwhile, Israel welcomed the E.U decision on settlement activities in East Jerusalem, after its diplomats lobbied in Brussels over the last few weeks against publishing the reported.
 
Israel claimed that the report is “very biased against it”.
 
Also, Haaretz added that based on information provided by European envoys in the Middle East, the report included “very unpleasant language” about Israel and the Separation Wall “without referring to attacks carried against Israel”.
 
The report raised concerns on the restrictions Israel is imposing on the movement of the Palestinian residents, and the effect settlements and the Separation Wall have on the Palestinians.
 
EU diplomats also said privately that it is not the time to tangle with Israel so soon after it carried its disengagement plant.
 
Israel barred the E.U for many years from having any security role in the conflict, but recently it allowed E.U observers to monitor that Rafah Border Crossing, between the Gaza Strip and Egypt.  
 
Haaretz said that Israel agreed to have the E.U observers at the crossing after cautioning the Europeans against taking a position that would damage ties.
 
“Straw said in stead of publishing its East Jerusalem report, the EU will continue to press Israel on the plight of Palestinians in normal, diplomatic contacts and regular statements from the EU head office”, Haaretz reported.
 
The future of Jerusalem in any final status solution is considered a very sensitive issue for the Palestinians and Israel. The Palestinians demand a full Israeli withdrawal from the east of Jerusalem, since it is part of the occupied territories since 1967.
 
The report also calls on the Palestinian Authority to conduct the needed reform in its security devices, and take “real actions against groups or individuals who carry acts of violence against Israel”, and to conduct the needed acts which will distance it from being accused of not respecting human right.
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