The European Union (EU) is planning to impose new sanctions against Israel over its illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, a day after the regime revealed its plans to build more units in the West Bank, according to Israeli media.EU officials are â€śtalking about sanctions against companies that do business across the border; about legal measures taken by the Palestinians with regard to the settlements; and about the renewed proposal to establish a Palestinian state through the Security Council,â€ť Haaretz cited unnamed Israeli officials as saying on Tuesday, according to Al Ray.
Discussions have been going on in regard to the measures over the past few months, the officials said:
â€śThis isnâ€™t something thatâ€™s being pushed forward by some group of junior officials,â€ť one of the officials said, adding, â€śAll members of the union are partners in this process, and are helping it move forward.â€ť
The report also added that some European countries are working on independent sanctions against Israel.
The EU had in the past years imposed bans on some of the products made in Israelâ€™s illegal settlements. Israeli officials have deemed the issue significant because of its diplomatic implications.
Israeli media also reported, on Monday, that Tel Aviv had grabbed up some four square-kilometers of Palestinian land near the settlements of Kedumim, Vered Yericho, Neveh Tzuf and Emanuel, in preparation to expand its illegal settlement activities.
Also on Tuesday, the Palestinian Authority urged the international community to do more than simply denouncing Israelâ€™s plan to expand settlements.
â€śThe international community should not be satisfied with declarations condemning the settlementsâ€ť and the â€śevil policies to take control of Palestinian land,â€ť Palestineâ€™s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israelâ€™s occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem (al-Quds).
The United Nations and most countries regard Israeli settlements as illegal because the territories were captured by Israel in the 1967 war and are, hence, subject to the Geneva Conventions, which forbid construction on occupied lands.
See also: 02/10/15 PA Boots 6 Israeli Companies From Palestinian Market.