A European Union committee of Middle East experts has recommended that the EU explore the option of drawing up a list of violent members of Israel’s settler movement, who could be blacklisted and denied entry to the 27 European Union member states, Haaretz reported on Monday.
According to a classified document acquired by the Israeli daily, the EU “considers settler violence as the biggest security threat to its personnel in the West Bank” and it appears to be “part of a pattern of coercion aimed at forcing Palestinian communities in Area C [West Bank areas under Israeli control] to leave with a view to expanding settlements or outposts.”
The document stated that settler attacks are coordinated and growing in number, while the political strength of the settler movement has increased and Israeli authorities turn a blind eye to extremist activities in the territories, leading to a “culture of impunity.”
Drawn up by the EU Maghreb-Mashreq committee, which oversees relations with North Africa and the Middle East, the document said that if settler violence was not prevented, it will “increasingly obstruct efforts by both parties for solving the conflict” and recommended that the member countries ”could explore the possibilities of denying access of known violent settlers to the EU.”
The Foreign Ministry denied knowledge of a potential blacklist. Spokesman Yigal Palmor, when told by Haaretz about the document, said “it’s hard to respond to a paper we haven’t seen.”