UK daily the Guardian, is reporting on Monday that relations between the European Union and the State of Israel are to be upgraded. The EU is to offer improvements on both trade and dimplomatic relations, including upgrades on migration, energy and agriculture.The move follows Israel’s inclusion to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in late 2010 and is a revival of plans to upgrade relations between Israel and the supra-national body that were suspended following Israel’s attack on the Gaza Strip in December 2008 – January 2009.
The Guardian reports that the details of the agreement are not as significant of an upgrade as the previous initiative, and that Catherine Ashton has delegated attendance at Tuesday’s meeting to Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis, Foreign Minister of Cyprus.
Ashton, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has been a vocal critic of Israel’s suppression of non-violent activism, settlement construction and Israel’s general policies towards Palestinians.
Despite this, Ashton recently received criticism for refusing to speak out against, and clearly state the illegality of, Israel’s policy of Administrative Detention, whereby Palestinian’s maybe detained without charge or trial indefinitely.
Administrative Detention orders are renewed every three months by the Israeli military, who are not required to present evidence as to the reasons for the order. Any justification is held in a sealed file which neither the detained or their legal representation may have access to.