(JTA) – A Palestinian official accused the Czech Republic of violating E.U. directives after its ambassador to Israel visited an Israeli university in the West Bank.
The visit last week by Ambassador Tomas Pojar to the University of Ariel, the largest Israeli settlement in the West Bank, was a first for an E.U. ambassador, according to the Jerusalem Post.
The visit “undermines the recent efforts made by the European Union to support the peace process and the two-state solution,” Saeb Erekat, a top Palestinian negotiator, said in a statement Wednesday. He was referring to regulations announced last year by the Union’s European Commission, which prohibited E.U. cooperation with institutions beyond Israel’s Green Line. The European Union regards Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal.
On Thursday, Radio Chine Internationale reported that the Palestinian Authority intended to file an official complaint over Pojar’s visit with Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chef.
Pojar told the Czech CTK news agency that during his Jan. 9 visit to Ariel, he presented the European Union’s positions on settlements. He said that his country has no relationship with Ariel University.
The Czech Republic is considered one of Israel’s staunchest allies in eastern Europe and was the only E.U. country that voted in 2012 against upgrading the status of the Palestinian Authority at the United Nations.