Despite the 2012 Levy Report proving the legality of Israel's presence in Judea and Samaria under international law, the European Union (EU) has bitterly opposed that presence and even threatened sanctions – however, a new report reveals that it is in fact the EU that is guilty of "illegal settlement" in the region.
Judea and Samaria was divided into Areas A, B and C in the 1993 Oslo Accords which created the Palestinian Authority (PA), and under the agreements Area C is under complete Israeli administrative and security control.
However, the new report by Regavim, an NGO watchdog group for Jewish national property rights, reveals the extent of the EU's illegal actions aiding in PA land grabs in Area C. In doing so, the EU is creating illegal facts on the ground to pave the way for a de facto Palestinian state in the Biblical heartland of Israel.
According to the report – which was first published several months ago on Arutz Sheva but has since made waves for the first time in the European press, featuring in the UK's Daily Mail – since 2009 European support has shifted from being passive diplomatic and financial aide to the PA, to becoming fully active cooperation in the PA's unilateral illegal construction.
One of the major goals in these EU efforts is to advance illegal Arab building precisely in Area C which is under full Israeli control, and therefore to slowly cede the areas and create a continuity between Arab-held land between Har Hevron in southern Judea, through Yericho (Jericho) and up into Samaria.
A continuity of this sort would critically harm the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria, as well as endanger Israeli security and Israel's ability to guard itself along defensible borders. A full 550 illegal Arab buildings were put up in Area C in 2014 alone.
The report features a detailed mapping of hundreds of illegal Arab structures built by the EU in the corridor from Jerusalem out past Ma'ale Adumim to its east. It also expounds on the changing EU management as seen in official documents, and dissects the impact of the illegal building.
"Between the lines rises in full force the European hypocrisy, which accuses Israel of taking unilateral steps, even as it is sunk up to its neck in illegal and unilateral activities for the benefit of the Palestinian Authority," Regavim stated.
The organization emphasizes that the construction it documented breaches international law which requires obedience to the sovereign power ruling a given area. It is also in complete contradiction of the Oslo Accords which the EU signed off on as a witness, and which establishes Israel as the authority for security and civilian matters in Area C.
In concluding the report, Regavim summed up that the EU's activities "are not legitimate. There is no avoiding a drastic change in terms of the Israeli government's treatment of the issue."
That change would come "firstly, by understanding and internalizing that the European Union is a problematic player that causes great damage to Israeli interests in Judea and Samaria," Regavim said. "Secondly, the supervision and checks on the Union's activities and organizations funded by it must be tightened."
The group also recommended that Israel "take a series of steps – political, legal and publicity based."
"The Israeli actions must be comprised of a combination of political actions through the accepted diplomatic channels, legal actions, intensive enforcement, and widening the publicity to create international legitimacy to end the delegitimate actions by the European Union," concluded Regavim.