The UAWC Salutes the EU guidelines excluding Israeli entities or activities in 1967 from EU-funded projects
The European Union’s Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards are welcomed by the Union of Agricultural Work Committees (UAWC).
The guidelines refuse to recognize the Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank including East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and the Syrian Golan Heights, emphasizing on the international law that states that all Israeli settlements are illegal. The EU will implement its guidelines, on the 1st of January 2014, through banning its funding, grants and loans that finance Israeli entities or activities in areas occupied by Israel in 1967.
The UAWC – which is a Palestinian agricultural organization that was established in 1986 in response to the vulnerable socio-political circumstances of peasants that resulted from the occupation’s policies including land confiscation – recognizes the positive impact of the guidelines on the Palestinian people. Pointing that the Palestinian peasants suffer the most from the Israeli policies such as: closures, checkpoints, the wall, land confiscation, trees bulldozing, uprooting and burning. From January to mid October 2012, over 7,500 olive trees belonging to Palestinians were damaged by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, yet this is an example of the larger violations that occur in the Palestinian territories. The Palestinian agricultural sector’s main principle is food sovereignty and this will not be accomplished unless land sovereignty is available. Standing against these illegal settlements and violations will aid to diminish their existence in the long run thus provide land sovereignty to the Palestinians; this is exactly why the UAWC salutes the EU’s strict position.
The UAWC’s board of directors, staff and peasant committees reinforce the importance and great impact of the EU’s published guidelines, and stress on their view that utters the duty of the world to stand against the illegal Israeli settlements by implementing similar measures and banning any product manufactured or packed in Isreali settlements from the market, thus end the injustice against the Palestinian people.