from Ynetnews (11.25.05, 08:46) ...
In report compiled by U.K. consulate in Israel, presented before EU committee, Britain slams Israel for illegal construction in east Jerusalem, accuses country of sabotaging peace process with Palestinians....
Straw. 'Israel sabotaged peace process'
Israel is guilty of breaking international laws, advocating membership in extremist groups, and sabotaging the peace process with the Palestinians by continuing construction in eastern Jerusalem, according to a confidential report compiled by the British consulate in
Jerusalem and presented before the EU.
In the harsh report, which was published Friday by British newspaper The Guardian, the U.K. Foreign Ministry Foreign Ministry levels accusations against Israel and charges that the Jewish state is attempting to interfere with peace negotiations and works intensively to prevent eastern Jerusalem from becoming the future Palestinian capital.
Presented by the British Foreign Minister Jack Sraw before an EU committee, the report reveals the U.K.'s estimates and standing regarding Israel. The committee has, in light of the report, expressed objection to Israel's moves, but postponed taking any concrete steps on the issue following pressures exerted by Israel's ally Italy. The report's authors claim in their account that Israel is illegally constructing settlements in the east Jerusalem area, in order to prevent any future transfer of the territory to Palestinian hands. The report brings the example of the construction of thousands of housing units in the Ma'aleh Adumim settlement, aimed at appending the community to Jerusalem, according to the report.
If this is accomplished, the West Bank will be divided into two separate geographical parts.
Once the Israeli construction in the city is completed, eastern Jerusalem will be disconnected from neighboring Palestinian towns such as Ramallah and Bethlehem, which will have severe repercussions on the Palestinians' lives, the report states.
'Israel violated international law'
The report further attacks Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government, and claims that eastern Jerusalem is higher on the PM's priority list than peace with the Palestinians. Israel's actions in Jerusalem were taken in violation of international law and the principles of the Road Map peace plan, the report claims. The British diplomats also state in the report they believe that the government's moves have encouraged the capital's residents to join extremist groups.
Remarking on the country's close supervision of roadblocks on highways leading in and out of Jerusalem, the British writers claim these are intended to restrain the growth of the Palestinian population in the city.
The Israeli Foreign Ministry said in response to the report, that "Israel believes that Jerusalem should remain its unified capital. However, it is aware that the issue will be brought to discussion with the Palestinians in the final stages of the peace talks.