Palestine has rejected the European Commission’s engagement in talks with Israel that would allow the exchange of personal data, including that of Palestinian citizens living in areas run by the Palestinian Authority.
Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Ahmed Majdalani said the talks represent a flagrant violation of international law and the Palestinian people’s rights and international protocols.
He stressed that these negotiations constitute an alarming “political precedent” and called on the European Union countries to halt them.
Majdalani’s remarks came in response to a report published in the German magazine “Spiegel,” which said that Israel and the European Commission are negotiating an agreement that allows the exchange of data between the EU and Israel.
The report stated that the issue was raised during a recent EU internal meeting. It pointed out that the draft agreement was kept secret.
The draft agreement stipulates that the Israeli authorities may use the date collected by the EU “exceptionally in the geographical areas that were ruled by Israel after June 5, 1967 (the occupied territories of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem).
According to the meeting’s minutes, which were seen by the German magazine, “13 of the 27 EU countries strongly refused to use the data in the occupied territories.”
It revealed warnings by representatives of France and other EU countries, like Ireland and Luxemburg, that this step would create an alarming precedent that has major political impacts.
The Legal Department of the EU Council also voiced concern, saying that “the use of EU police data in the annexed areas would not only be a political precedent with enormous impact but also a violation of international law.”
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki also slammed the draft agreement in an interview with Spiegel, stressing that it violates international law.
“The fact that President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen held negotiations on a data exchange agreement with Israel, whose mandate extends to the occupied territories of the State of Palestine, is an unprecedented scandal and a flagrant violation of international law.”