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Europe might Link Cooperation with Israel to Palestinians Rights | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Israeli policemen stand guard as bulldozers demolish homes in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in the Negev desert, on January 18, 2017. (AFP Photo/Menahem Kahana)

Tel Aviv – European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker threatened the Israeli government of being sanctioned in case it continues its oppressive and racist policy against the Arab Palestinians of 1948.

Juncker was speaking during a meeting held with lawmakers from the Joint (Arab) List party, which includes all Arab national parties and represent 13 seats in the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, over the Israeli demolition of 15 houses in the village of Umm al-Hiran.

The delegation demanded the creation of an international defense body to protect Arabs from the authorized policies of Binyamin Netanyahu’s government.

Juncker said, “Israel was escaping from signing the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities to prevent being questioned by European states and human rights organizations concerning its behavior against Arab nationals.”

The EU chief executive also suggested that the European Union should study the possibility of including a guarantee of the rights of Arab nationals in the joint agreements conducted with Israel, particularly that this Arab minority embraces a big fraction, reaching 20 percent of the population.

Informed sources close to Juncker quoted the EU chief as saying during the meeting that the last Israeli conducts against Arab Palestinians, such as the demolishment of homes in the Um al-Hiran village in addition to the “Exclusion Act” that targets Arab lawmakers in the Knesset, reminds him of the “apartheid” policy in South Africa.

On Thursday, Israeli Arabs had responded to the government’s behavior in a nationwide general strike to protest the demolition of homes that the state carried out in the Bedouin village of Um al-Hiran in Negev a day earlier with an attempt to offer their lands to Jewish citizens who plan to establish a Jewish “Hiran” village.

The general strike was announced in official, residential and municipal areas. Schools were opened for two hours in order to facilitate discussions among students about the demolitions. Protests were also organized in the majority of Arab towns.