RAMALLAH, September 11, 2013 (WAFA) – A number of Palestinian human rights organizations Wednesday called on the United States not to interfere in the European Union guidelines on Israeli settlements, according to a press statement.
In a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry, 13 organizations said they were “concerned by the pressure exerted by the United States on all relevant parties, including the Palestinian Authority, to postpone the implementation of or amend the guidelines.”
The European Union adopted 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 onwards.”
The Palestinian groups, members of the Palestinian Human Rights Organizations’ Council (PHROC), said the guidelines represent EU compliance with international and European law obligations and therefore “any efforts by an external party to amend, discourage, or delay the implementation of the guidelines would be tantamount to encouraging law-abiding states to violate their legal obligations.”
PHROC welcomed the EU guidelines, which “enforce the longstanding position of the international community that Israeli settlements are illegal.”
It said the US “as a High Contracting Party to the Fourth Geneva Convention and bound to act in accordance with third state obligations related to violations of peremptory norms of international law and otherwise customary international law, should itself ensure that its cooperation with Israel is in line with the obligation of non-recognition and duty to actively cooperate to bring the violations that settlements constitute to an end.”
It said that “the United States should be lending its official and unwavering support for the implementation of the guidelines on 1 January 2014 without any change to its content.”