Israel protests EU 'settlement' listing for part of city
JERUSALEM - Agence France-Presse
A general view shows the Palestinian village of Jimba, south of Yatta, near the West Bank town of Hebron, on July 25, 2012. The Israeli Defence Minister, Ehud Barak, announced that Palestinian citizens in the area south of Yatta must leave since the Israeli army plan to use it as a military training ground. AFP PHOTO / HAZEM BADERIsrael's foreign ministry on Wednesday condemned a decision by the EU to effectively label parts of an Israeli town as a settlement in a new list of locales not entitled to European tariff exemptions.
"For anyone who deals in reality, there is not the slightest doubt that the Modiin, Maccabim and Reut localities are an integral part of Israel, and their future is not in question," the ministry said in a statement.
In a list published this week, the European Union designated parts of the city known as Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, which lies half-way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as outside Israel for the purposes of a tariff exemption programme.
The three postcodes included in the list fall in an area that is beyond the 1949 armistice line known as the Green Line, inside a narrow ribbon designated as no-man's land.
The EU specifically prohibits members from applying a tariff exemption granted to Israel to products made by the Jewish state inside the "territories brought under Israeli administration since June 1967," including the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights.
The foreign ministry said the EU "ignores reality when it extends the domain of conflict to places and issues that do not belong there." And it said the EU's decision to publish the list, "unacceptably cut off a negotiating process regarding this very issue." Israeli Information Minister Yuli Edelstein also protested the decision.
"We will submit a complaint with the European authorities about this unjust and mistaken decision, which is like a boycott measure," he told Israeli public radio.
A spokesman for the EU told AFP there would be no immediate comment on Israel's condemnation of the new list.