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Secret British document accuses Israel

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    FO paper says international laws are being violated and peace jeopardised Secret British document accuses Israel Chris McGreal in Jerusalem Friday November 25,
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 1, 2005
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      FO paper says international laws are being violated and peace jeopardised


      Secret British document accuses Israel
      Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
      Friday November 25, 2005
      The Guardian
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,1650426,00.html


      A confidential Foreign Office document accuses Israel of rushing to
      annex the Arab area of Jerusalem, using illegal Jewish settlement
      construction and the vast West Bank barrier, in a move to prevent it
      becoming a Palestinian capital.

      In an unusually frank insight into British assessments of Israeli
      intentions, the document says that Ariel Sharon's government is
      jeopardising the prospect of a peace agreement by trying to put the
      future of Arab East Jerusalem beyond negotiation and risks driving
      Palestinians living in the city into radical groups. The document,
      obtained by the Guardian, was presented to an EU council of ministers
      meeting chaired by the foreign secretary, Jack Straw, on Monday with
      recommendations to counter the Israeli policy, including recognition
      of Palestinian political activities in East Jerusalem.

      But the council put the issue on hold until next month under pressure
      from Italy, according to sources, which Israel considers its most
      reliable EU ally.

      Israel has described a recommendation for moving EU meetings with the
      Palestinian Authority from Ramallah to East Jerusalem in recognition
      of the Arab claim as "negative occurrence". It claims the eastern part
      of Jerusalem it occupied in the 1967 war is part of its "indivisible
      capital". Almost all governments maintain embassies in Tel Aviv
      because they do not recognise the Israeli claim.

      The document, drawn up by the British consulate in East Jerusalem as
      part of the UK's presidency of the EU, says Israeli policies are
      designed to prevent Jerusalem from becoming a Palestinian capital,
      particularly settlement expansion in and around the city. It says Mr
      Sharon's plan to link Jerusalem with the large Ma'ale Adumim
      settlement in the West Bank by building thousands of new homes
      "threatens to complete the encircling of the city by Jewish
      settlements, dividing the West Bank into two separate geographical
      areas".

      It adds: "Israeli activities in Jerusalem are in violation of both its
      Roadmap (peace plan) obligations and international law."

      The Foreign Office also concludes that the vast concrete barrier,
      which Israel asserts is a security measure, is being used to
      expropriate Arab land in and around the city. "This de facto
      annexation of Palestinian land will be irreversible without very
      large-scale forced evacuations of settlers and the re-routing of the
      barrier."

      The document says stringent Israeli controls on the movement of
      Palestinians in and out of the city are an attempt to restrict Arab
      population growth. "When the barrier is completed, Israel will control
      all access to East Jerusalem, cutting off its Palestinian satellite
      cities of Bethlehem and Ramallah, and the West Bank beyond. This will
      have serious ... consequences for the Palestinians," it says.

      "Israel's main motivation is almost certainly demographic ... the
      Jerusalem master plan has an explicit goal to keep the proportion of
      Palestinian Jerusalemites at no more than 30% of the total." All of
      this, the document says, greatly reduces the prospects of a two-state
      solution because a core demand of the Palestinians is for sovereignty
      over the east of the city.

      "Palestinians are deeply alarmed about East Jerusalem," the document
      says. "They fear that Israel will 'get away with it', under the cover
      of disengagement. Israeli measures also risk radicalising the hitherto
      relatively quiescent Palestinian population of East Jerusalem."

      The Israeli foreign ministry spokesman, Mark Regev, said: "Israel
      believes that Jerusalem should remain the united capital of Israel. At
      the same time Israel has committed itself that Jerusalem is one of
      those final status issues."

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