Israel says it won't accept anti-settlement clause in research deal with EU
JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Israel appealed to the European Union on Friday to rethink planned sanctions against its organisations in the occupied territories and called for talks, a shift in tone from previous Israeli anger and retaliatory measures.
Under guidelines adopted by the executive European Commission in June, Israeli "entities" operating in the West Bank and East Jerusalem will not be eligible for EU grants, prizes or loans from next year.
The move was welcomed by Palestinians, who seek statehood in those territories, and deplored by Israel, which has settled the West Bank extensively and considers all of Jerusalem its undivided capital - a status not recognised internationally.
The rightist Israeli government responded on July 26 by announcing curbs on EU aid projects for thousands of West Bank Palestinians. On Thursday, it accused the Europeans of harming Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and said it would not sign new deals with the 28-nation bloc given the planned sanctions.