JERUSALEM (AA) – The European Union has frozen cooperation with the Israeli police due to concerns regarding the upcoming government’s policy, according to the Israeli media.
Last September, Israel and the EU signed a draft agreement to improve the transfer of intelligence information. The deal, however, needs approval by the European Parliament.
“The EU informed Israeli Ambassador Haim Regev that it will, for the time being, stop promoting a draft agreement for intelligence cooperation between the Israeli police and the European Police Agency, Europol,” the Haaretz newspaper said, citing well-informed sources.
Regev was handed the suspension decision last Friday, according to the newspaper.
Israeli officials told Haaretz that the decision is the first European indication that the change in Israeli policy in the occupied West Bank will harm cooperation with the EU.
On Monday, the head of the EU’s Law Enforcement Cooperation Unit, Rob Rosenberg, said “the final agreement may include minor exceptions” limited to “the situation of material threats and the need to protect the civilian population.”
According to Haaretz, the emerging agreement is expected to include a clause preventing Israel from using any information it receives from Europe in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.
International law views both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there as illegal.
Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to offer far-right Zionist politician Itamar Ben-Gvir the portfolio of the national security minister in the new government. The move has sparked regional and international concerns.