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218 words - July 18, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
On July 16, after consultations with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin, the Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu denounced the decision by the European Union (EU) to "add conditions to contracts between the EU and Israel in the future." On June 30, the European Commission (EC) adopted a Notice containing 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, explained a statement by the EU Delegation to Israel.
In response to what the EU considers "illegal" Israeli policy of settlements, and in line with a decision taken by the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) of 10 December 2012, the EC has decided "to make a distinction between the State of Israel and the occupied territories when it comes to EU support." Praising the efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to restart the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Israeli President Shimon Peres warned the EU's "irresponsible sanctions" are "unnecessary and untimely." On the contrary, the Secretary General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu commended the EU move.
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