Israel hopes EU will back barrier at U.N.

By Aaron Klein

A week after the EU announced it is building a fence of its own, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom expressed hope yesterday European countries would not support a Palestinian planned resolution at the United Nations Security Council against the West Bank security fence.

“It is very important that Israel avoids a new European vote in September against the barrier,” Shalom said in an interview from Paris, where he held talks concerning the rising anti-Semitism in France.

“The last time, we had received assurances of an abstention by the European countries but at the end of the day they all rallied behind the Palestinian resolution,” said Shalom.

The 25 European Union states voted en masse in July for a General Assembly resolution endorsing an earlier non-binding verdict by the International Court of Justice, the UN’s highest legal body, that parts of the barrier built inside the West Bank were “illegal” and should be torn down.

Israel is expecting the Palestinians to bring the issue to the UN Security Council next month as part of a strategy to push for sanctions. Sharon has said his government is confident any such vote at the Security Council will be vetoed by the United States.

Shalom told the EU’s top diplomat Javier Solana on a visit to Israel last month that Europe could be frozen out of the Middle East peace process as a result of what he called its failure to understand Israel’s security needs.

Last week, the EU announced it’s planning to build a separation fence of its own to separate recently added EU members Poland and Hungary from their new neighbors – Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. The EU, which invited Israeli companies to help with the construction, said the fence is necessary to “prevent the free movement of migrants seeking to enter” EU territory.

Israeli companies, including Magal Security Systems, will participate in tenders to build hundreds of miles of fences along the EU’s new eastern border.

“It’s incredible the EU has no problem building a fence just to keep illegal immigrants out, but when the Jewish State builds a security fence as a last resort for the purpose of keeping terrorists out and saving Israeli lives, we are blasted by them and the U.N.,” a spokesman for Ariel Sharon told WorldNetDaily. “Makes you think, doesn’t it?”