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Europe determined to prevent Israeli settlement policy

While the Obama administration is reluctant to finalize its peace negotiations policy before Israeli elections, the European Union has already elaborated punitive measures in response to any future Israeli settlements.
A labourer works on an apartment building under construction in a Jewish settlement known to Israelis as Har Homa and to Palestinians as Jabal Abu Ghneim in an area of the West Bank that Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed to the city of Jerusalem, October 28, 2014. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will expedite planning for some 1,000 settler homes in East Jerusalem, a government official said on Monday, in a bid to placate a restive coalition ally without further aggravating a dispute with
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Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior source in the Brussels European Union foreign policy team has shared with Al-Monitor their thinking over resuming the peace process once the next Israeli government is established: "Watching the Israeli election campaign, we are dismayed by the fact that all the parties seem to ignore the central issue concerning Israel's future — as we see it — namely, resolving the conflict with the Palestinians. Come May, Europe will not be able to ignore this anymore. We have on our hands a major strategic challenge in relation to the Arab and Muslim world. We are engaged in a fight against terror, both domestically and in the Middle East. And in this context, resolving the Palestinian predicament is of pivotal importance."

The source outlined the European alternatives as of spring 2015. It seems that several senior officials in EU capitals favor a policy initiative that would include a UN Security Council resolution calling to resume negotiations, with "flexible language" as to the outcome of those negotiations. This flexible language would allow Europe to convince the United States not to cast a veto over the resolution. The EU source was most adamant on one issue: "The European Union will do its utmost to prevent the type of settlement expansion that characterized the previous Israeli government." She even stipulated that a settlement freeze may very well be part of this Security Council resolution.

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