Brussels / PNN /
The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to receive the European Union Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, following his demand to stop the expansion of settlements in the West Bank and his claim in publishing an article in which he compared Israeli soldiers to Palestinian militants, according to Israeli "Haaretz" newspaper.
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, stated in a political article that he agreed with several Arab officials, including the Saudi Foreign Minister and the Secretary-General of the Arab League, to propose a regional European-Arab peace initiative based on the Arab Peace Initiative.
Borrell stated in his article: "Many victims fall every week in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, while the world's response is limited to many statements and little action. This reality must change!"
He added that, amid almost complete impunity, Israeli settler violence increasingly threatens the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank, and Israeli military operations often result in the killing of Palestinian civilians without effective accountability.
Borrell said: "The European Union, the Palestinian Authority, and a significant part of the Israeli public support the two-state solution, but Hamas still does not recognize Israel's right to exist, and the current Israeli government coalition denies the Palestinians' right to establish their state and increasingly denies the Israeli right-wing the existence of the occupation from its basis."
He announced in his article that he recently met with the Saudi Foreign Minister and the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Abu Al-Ghait, and they agreed to revive the Arab Peace Initiative and build on it, adding the European peace package to it.
He also stated that this package was first proposed in 2013 and includes unprecedented commitments of security, economic, and political support in the event that the parties reach a peace agreement.
He explained that he has instructed the EU's special representative, Sven Koopmans, to work with the European Commission and EU member states to develop and enhance this package. He requested that, in collaboration with our partners, they put forward concrete proposals for a comprehensive regional process to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine, and between Israel and all its Arab neighbors.
He stressed that Europe's own interests are at stake, as we Europeans want peace because ending the conflict would be much better for us and for international security.