|Construction work at the Ariel settlement in the West Bank. Photograph: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images|
Israel freezes co-operation with EU in Palestinian territories
Move follows European Union directive banning funding for bodies linked with Israeli settlements
Israel has frozen co-operation with the European Union on work in the Palestinian territories in retaliation for an EU directive banning funding or grants for bodies with links to Israeli settlements.
The move, authorised by the defence minister, Moshe Ya'alon, affects all projects requiring permits from the Civil Administration, which governs Area C, the 60% of the West Bank under full Israeli control; access of EU diplomats and representatives to Area C and Gaza; and joint meetings.
No permits have been issued to EU humanitarian aid workers to enter Gaza for several days, according to a western diplomatic source.
"We are freezing the relationship on everything," said an Israeli official. "We did this as soon as we heard [about the directive]. We can't act like nothing happened."
The EU provides aid and equipment to Palestinian communities in Area C, many of whom are threatened with displacement and the demolition of their homes, animal shelters and other structures. The EU also helps train Palestinian security forces... READ MORE
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