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Fatah in Europe welcomes EU directive on settlements

July 16, 2013 9:47 P.M. (Updated: July 17, 2013 7:14 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Fatah in Europe on Tuesday welcomed European Union guidelines barring the bloc's 28 member states from funding projects in Israeli settlements.

"We would like to express our happiness and joy at this historic step Europe has taken. It is a very positive development that Israel will be obliged to define its territories," Fatah spokesman in Europe Jamal Nazzal told Ma'an.

"We hope Israel will abide by this directive," added Nazzal, a member of Fatah's Revolutionary Council. He urged Europe to insist on implementing the guidelines.

The guidelines will affect all EU grants, prizes and funding from 2014 onwards, with no further funding available to Israeli entities beyond the 1967 Green Line.

The guidelines require that in all signed agreements with Brussels a clear distinction be made between Israel and the territories it occupied in the 1967 Six-Day war -- the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank including East Jerusalem.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly rejected the directive.

"We shall not accept any external dictates on our borders," his office quoted him as telling an emergency ministerial meeting. "That is an issue that will be decided only in direct negotiations between the sides."

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