(Photo Credit: AP)
The EU notified Israel on 7 December that it would not proceed with its joint intelligence cooperation agreement between Tel Aviv’s police and Europol.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz initially reported this development days after the EU delivered the updated terms to the Israeli Ambassador to the EU, Haim Regev, on 2 December.
The draft agreement was initially finalized in September of this year to facilitate the transfer of information between the EU and the Israeli authorities to combat potential terror activities.
The draft was signed, but never received full approval from the EU, most likely due to its dissatisfaction with Israel’s incoming government’s policies towards the Palestinian territories.
A day prior, Haaretz disclosed that the EU informed Regev that it would discontinue its promotion of the cooperation agreement after suspending its implementation last week.
On 5 December, the head official of the EU Law Enforcement Cooperation Unit, Rob Rosenberg, said there would be acute exceptions for provisions on cooperation between the Israeli government and the occupied West Bank.
An Israeli official said: “There is pressure in Europe to be less forgiving of Israel now that there is a change of government.”
Despite the EU’s disapproval of several of Israel’s policies, a report published by the advocacy group Don’t Buy into Occupation disclosed that European firms have increased their investments in illegal Israeli settlements by more than $30 billion since last year.
In their second report, “Exposing the financial flows into illegal Israeli settlements,” the group discovered that between January 2019 and August 2022, 725 European financial institutions, including banks, asset managers, insurance companies, and pension funds, had financial ties to 50 firms that are directly associated with Israeli settlements.
International law prohibits all squatters and settlements in Israel, however, Tel Aviv has ignored all international condemnations.
Israel has expanded its territory since the Arab-Israeli war in 1967 and has established thousands of settlements in the West Bank, accommodating up to 700,000 settlers.