In their annual report to Brussels, EU heads of missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah provided recommendations for the EU to toughen its sanctions policy against Israel. In particular, the report’s recommendations section, leaked to Ynetnews, outlines a series of measures targeting settlement products and violent settlers. The report paints a grim picture of the situation for Palestinians in Jerusalem; the city is described as being in the grip of “a vicious cycle of polarization and violence following the rapid deterioration of the situation on the ground.” The authors blame the escalating tensions on the Israeli government and its settlement construction program in East Jerusalem, its heavy-handed policing tactics, and the home demolitions and evictions aimed against Palestinian residents.
The document was released following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s reelection and his campaign statement that a Palestinian state would not be established on his watch. It followed a recent letter from Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini calling on the EU to hold Israel accountable in order to save “the two-state solution from its total disappearance.” Presented below are excerpts from the report’s leaked recommendations section.