Itongadol.- Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon instructed the agency responsible for overseeing Israeli government activities in the West Bank to cease joint projects involving the Defense Ministry and the European Union, the online news agency Walla! reported.
The move comes one week after the European Union issued new directives banning the subsidizing of projects with Israeli entities that operate beyond the Green Line.
Israel’s response will affect future EU projects that are meant to improve the welfare of Palestinians in the territories. These ventures require the cooperation and approval of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the Defense Ministry office that liaises with foreign diplomats.
According to Walla!, the move will affect civilian projects like training Palestinian police officers and waste-removal programs. In addition, COGAT officials have ceased issuing entry permits to the Gaza Strip for EU officials, while other work meetings between the two sides have also been canceled.
Walla! reported that the new directive from Ya\’alon is likely to impact more projects.
“There is a slowdown in the work that we do with COGAT, and this is following a long period in which the cooperation between the two sides has been excellent,” a European official told Walla!.
The EU has traditionally funded civilian and infrastructure projects in the West Bank.