(JNS.org) Danish Foreign Minister Martin Lidegaard said Monday that if the indirect talks beginning this week between Israel and Hamas do not lead to major Israeli concessions, the European Union should consider placing economic sanctions on the Jewish state.
“If nothing happens in the peace talks this time, and if we don’t see a new pattern of response from Israel’s side, then we will need to discuss the possibility of taking new steps, including changes to our trade relations with Israel,” Lidegaard said, the Denmark-based English news site The Local reported.
“I hope that it doesn’t come to that, but I think that the EU’s policies are moving in that direction,” he said.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon responded that Lidegaard "is mistaken and does not understand the situation."
"When he comes to visit in Israel, he will certainly understand the reality and understand that Israel is not responsible for the stalemate,” Nahshon said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
In the negotiations, Israel and Hamas will try to reach a final agreement that would solidify the cease-fire they reached in August. Hamas spokesperson Salah Bardawil has said that the talks will cover the process of reconstructing the Gaza Strip, in addition to "the issues that were postponed until the end of this month, on top of them the [demands for a] port and the airport as well as the [release of Palestinian prisoners]."