EU Strongly Condemns Israeli Minister’s Remarks on Arab Movement in West Bank
The European Union EU strongly criticized Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir for his remarks about the movement of Arabs in the West Bank, as reported by media outlets on Friday, August 25, 2023.
In a statement, the EU emphasized that the relationship between Israel and the EU should be grounded in the principles of respecting human rights and upholding democratic values.
In an interview with Channel 12 on Wednesday, Ben-Gvir asserted, using biblical terms for the occupied region, that the right of Jews to travel in Judea and Samaria is more significant than the movement rights of Arabs.
“My right, my wife’s, my children’s, to roam the roads of Judea and Samaria are more important than the right of movement of the Arabs,” Ben-Gvir said
This statement prompted widespread condemnation. The US also deemed it “racist rhetoric.”
The EU emphasized the equality of all individuals and the importance of treating everyone fairly. “The values of democracy and respect for human rights stand central to the EU-Israel partnership, including as regards the people living under Occupation in the Palestinian Territory,” noted the EU.
The EU reiterated its stance against Israel’s settlement policy, considering settlements illegal under international law and detrimental to the prospects of peace. This policy includes restrictions on movement and access.
Around 700,000 Israeli settlers reside in 164 settlements and 116 outposts in the occupied West Bank. International law considers all Jewish settlements in the occupied territories illegal.