German diplomat Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, who represents the European Union in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, said on Wednesday during a visit to Samaria, “There is no such thing as Area B and C, it’s all Palestine.”
Areas A, B, and C are three administrative zones in Judea and Samaria established under the Oslo Accords. Area A is under Palestinian Authority civil and security control. Area B is governed by P.A. civil control but joint Israeli-Palestinian security. Area C, roughly 60% of the area, is fully under Israeli civil and military control.
Von Burgsdorff also said that “what we’re seeing in Homesh is not just a violation of international law … it’s a violation of Israeli domestic law.”
He was referencing the Knesset’s vote in March to repeal articles of a 2005 law banning Israelis from residing in the four communities in northern Samaria—Homesh, Sa-Nur, Ganim and Kadim—that were evacuated during the disengagement.
The E.U. on Wednesday issued a statement saying it is “gravely concerned by and condemns the decision of the Israeli authorities to allow Israeli citizens to establish permanent presence in the outpost in Homesh.”
Von Burgsdorff made his comments during a tour for senior E.U. diplomats organized by three Israeli NGOs opposed to Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria—Peace Now, Yesh Din and Emek Shaveh.
The tour included a visit to the archaeological site of Sebastia (biblical Shomron), the capital of the northern Kingdom of Israel in the eighth and ninth centuries BCE.
The group also met with Palestinians from the village of Burqa overlooking Homesh.
Peace Now said in a statement, “The most extreme and dangerous government in the country’s history is dragging us to disaster. Instead of evacuating the outpost in Homesh and taking care of security, the government is investing our funds in the development of the area, giving rewards to criminality, violence and robbery, and harming security.”
The Nachala Settlement Movement condemned the group’s visit: “The cooperation between ‘Peace Now’ and the European representatives with the aim of undermining the Jewish hold on northern Samaria illustrates the ridiculous and ludicrous situation of the movement’s representatives and the entire initiative.
“The name Homesh is after the five daughters of Zelophehad, who in their love for the Land of Israel [the Book of Numbers] refused to give up a physical part of it.
“The city of Shomron was founded 1,500 years before the Roman Emperor Sebastian [Augustus—the Greek sebastos, or “venerable,” is a translation of the Latin augustus] was born. Ignorance and stupidity lead the group of ‘Peace Now’ and the European Union to the mouth of the abyss,” the Nachala Settlement Movement said.