In a rare public and direct diplomatic assault on Israeli policy, the European Union (EU) on Thursday issued a statement condemning Israel over its decision to designate unclaimed land in Judea and Samaria as state land.
The condemnation, which rounds out the deluge of criticism on the matter from the US and the UN, refers to how Israel declared 234 hectares (579 acres) of territory to be state land in an area near Jericho and the Dead Sea, as first reported on Tuesday.
In its statement on Thursday, the EU's foreign policy service said the move throws into doubt Israel's commitment to a two state solution, by which the Jewish state would be divided and a state of "Palestine" would be created.
"Israel's decision…is a further step that risks undermining the viability of a future Palestinian state and therefore calls into question Israel's commitment to a two state solution," read the EU statement, as cited by Reuters.
The EU statement, which comes on the heels of similar criticism by Germany and France earlier this week, is highly ironic given that the EU has long been exposed to be funding and building illegal structures for Arabs in Israeli controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, in a blatant seizure of Israeli land.
Just this week the UK's Daily Mail reported the EU does not even deny its land grab attempts using public funds, but works to avoid lawsuits over its breach of the law by claiming "diplomatic immunity" – even though such immunity does not cover interfering in internal affairs.
The EU has been building illegal structures for the Palestinian Authority (PA) in regions of Judea and Samaria designated as Area C by the 1994 Oslo Accords, which are areas that are to be under full Israeli control.
The overt breach of the Oslo Accords is all the more ironic given that the EU is itself a signatory to the Accords.
Last month it was revealed the EU has already constructed over 1,000 illegal buildings for local Arabs in Area C of Judea and Samaria in recent years, including a 450% spike in the illegal construction in 2015 alone.
However, in response to the blatant attempt to create facts on the ground in Judea and Samaria and force through the establishment of a Palestinian state, the Israeli government has surprisingly avoided enforcing the law against the buildings in a quiet approval of the EU breaches. Last month a statement by the state to the Supreme Court said acting on the matter is "not a top priority."