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EU must end impunity for Israel

18/05/2017

EU must end impunity for Israel

Sylikiotis (L) visiting Hebron in September 2014

GUE/NGL MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis, Chair of the Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Palestine, has criticised a resolution voted today at the European Parliament on achieving the two-state solution in the Middle East for its excessive focus on 'both sides'.

GUE/NGL abstained from the vote because it ignores the arming of Israeli colonial settlers and the violence they commit.

Some of the resolution's positive points included the illegal settlements, the Palestinian Arab community in Israel, the displacement, demolitions and settlement products.

Nevertheless, the resolution still falls short of specifying how the EU can put pressure on Israel, given its decades-long impunity and defiance of international law and the EU’s own failure to exert any effective influence.

The text of the motion fails to mention the word 'occupation' or attribute blame on Israel for unilateral actions that endanger the two-state solution.

Furthermore, the resolution ignores the daily reality of violence perpetuated by Israel and its call on both sides to 'refrain from unilateral actions'.

There is no equivalence between oppressor and oppressed. Even International Humanitarian Law recognises that the occupying power has special obligations towards the occupied population, which Israel completely ignores. The resolution makes it seem that Israelis and Palestinians are on equal footing when one side is stronger and more powerful than the other.

Israel continues to violate the Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement which at the same time is a flagrant violation of international law and human rights.

Nevertheless, the Cypriot MEP mentioned that some elements in the resolution can serve as basis for the future:

"The resolution rightly condemns Israel’s continued settlement expansion and the Regularisation bill, which retroactively legalised settlements built on private Palestinian land. It further condemns Israel's demolitions of Palestinian civilian infrastructure - some of which are EU-funded.”

"I see positively that the Parliament makes reference to Palestinians citizens of Israel against whom Israel discriminates with dozens of laws. They deserve full equality."

"We reaffirm our support for the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, to an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state, on the basis of the right to self-determination and full respect for international law."

“As the historic hunger strike of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners reaches one month, we urge the EU to urgently intervene to save the lives of Palestinian prisoners and ensure their demands for basic rights are met,” Sylikiotis concluded.

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