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Israel meets ambassadors over EU plan

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Israel met the ambassadors of Britain and France, and Germany's deputy envoy over plans by the EU to ban its 28 members from having any dealings with Jewish settlements, an official said on Friday.

The Jewish state warned the envoys of a serious crisis between it and the European Union over the move, the high-ranking foreign ministry official told AFP.

Germany and France confirmed the Thursday meetings but the British embassy did not immediately comment.

Christophe Bigot, France's ambassador in Tel Aviv, said the "discussion" was called by the Israeli foreign ministry's director, Rafi Barak.

"The Israelis informed us of their concerns" over the EU plan, he said. "I reminded them that the new guidelines were a continuation of European policy on settlements."

The guidelines, published in the EU's Official Journal Friday morning, forbid EU member states from funding or dealing with entities in territories occupied by the Jewish state in 1967.

"The EU does not recognise Israel's sovereignty over... the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including east Jerusalem... and does not consider them to be part of Israel's territory, irrespective of their legal status under domestic law," the preamble to the guidelines says.

The guidelines apply to "grants, prizes and financial instruments," it adds.

"Only Israeli entities having their place of establishment within Israel's pre-1967 borders will be considered eligible as final recipients" of this kind of funding.

Settlement building in the territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War is considered illegal under international law.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130719/israel-meets-ambassadors-over-eu-plan