Diplomats urge EU to block Jerusalem settlements

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RAMALLAH, West Bank — Nearly two dozen European diplomats have urged the EU to intensify efforts to block Israeli settlement in and near Jerusalem, saying such construction on occupied lands is the “single biggest threat” to a Mideast peace deal, according to an internal report today.

The diplomats also said the EU must ensure that aid to Israel and preferential trade agreements don’t inadvertently benefit settlements, according to the report.

They recommended that the EU “prevent, discourage and raise awareness” of direct investments by European companies in settlements, but did not elaborate.

While the recommendations are non-binding, the report, endorsed by 22 heads of mission posted in east Jerusalem and the West Bank, reflects Israel’s growing international isolation over the settlement issue.

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