Israel to Join EU Research Program that Denies Funds to Illegal Settlements

Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank. (Photo:

By Romana Rubeo  

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid announced on Tuesday that Israel will join the European Union’s research funding program from 2021-2028, Israeli media reported.

However, Israel’s participation in the multi-billion-euro research funding program is subject to certain conditions, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. The EU funds cannot be invested in the occupied Palestinian territories, while Israeli academics and research institutions operating in illegal Jewish settlements are excluded from participating in the project. 

The Israeli newspaper also reported that the Israeli Foreign Ministry “has refused to publish the final draft of the agreement and says it will  do so when the signing takes place in December.”

Formal negotiations with Israel were concluded on October 9, according to the European Commission website, which defines Horizon Europe as “the closest form of cooperation in research & Innovation with non-EU countries”.

The EU has reiterated more than once that it considers the Israeli settlement activity in occupied Palestinian territory illegal under international law.

However, a recent report issued by the cross-regional coalition “Don’t Buy into Occupation” (DBIO), has exposed the financial relationships between European financial institutions and the illegal settlement enterprise. 

“Research by the DBIO coalition shows that between 2018 and May 2021, 672 European financial institutions, including banks, asset managers, insurance companies, and pension funds, had financial relationships with 50 businesses that are actively involved with Israeli settlements,” the report read. 

“US$ 114 billion was provided in the form of loans and underwritings. As of May 2021, European investors also held US$ 141 billion in shares and bonds of these companies,” it continued.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

– Romana Rubeo is an Italian writer and the managing editor of The Palestine Chronicle. Her articles appeared in many online newspapers and academic journals. She holds a Master’s Degree in Foreign Languages and Literature and specializes in audio-visual and journalism translation.

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