ISRAEL-PALESTINE After the 2014 war in Gaza
In summer 2014, Israel conducted a bloody 50-day military attack on the Gaza Strip which resulted in 2145 fatalities, including 581 children.
Appalled and outraged, we immediately started planning a delegation to Palestine to show our
solidarity with Palestinians in their on-going struggle against Israeli occupation.
As part of our visit, we planned to enter Gaza to assess the situation on the ground first hand. This would have enabled us to relay information back to the European Parliament, giving greater weight to our demands for greater provision of EU humanitarian aid to Gaza and an end to the blockade and occupation.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, our plans to visit Gaza were thwarted by the Israeli government’s refusal to grant us access; the justification given was that our visit to the region was ‘not directly concerned with the provision of humanitarian assistance’. This is beyond irony considering that the horrific and harrowing humanitarian situation in Gaza is a direct result of Israel’s bloody military attack on Gaza, and indeed Israel’s eight-year blockade of the region.
Nevertheless, we, 13 MEPs from 6 countries and 8 political delegations, travelled to East Jerusalem, Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, and Tel Aviv where we met members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and the Knesset, as well as activists from both Palestinian and Israeli human rights and peace organisations.
For some of us this was our first visit to Palestine; for others it was one of many.
But all of us left more determined than ever to keep up the fight for a free Palestine, to tell the world what is happening there, and campaign for a change in narrative, and above all a change in EU policy towards Israel.
We owe it to all those who have lost their lives throughout this bloody conflict.
This is a diary of our visit and an account of how we relayed what we heard back to the European