Palestine: MEPs voice strong support for a lasting two-state solution

Palestine: MEPs voice strong support for a lasting two-state solution

Parliament calls for the in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood in line with the 2014 Council conclusions, while deploring the lack of elections in the Palestinian territories.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament adopted a set of recommendations on how the EU should continue to engage with the Palestinian Authority (PA). While reiterating their unwavering support for a negotiated two-state solution for Israel and Palestine on the basis of the 1967 borders with two sovereign, democratic states and with Jerusalem as their shared capital, MEPs call on the EU and its member states to support in principle a recognition of Palestinian statehood in accordance with the parameters of the July 2014 Council conclusions. They also continue to advocate for the full respect of international law while reiterating the EU’s commitment to the equal rights of all Israelis and Palestinians.

Stressing that it is unacceptable that no elections have been held in the Palestinian territories in more than 16 years, Parliament strongly urges the political leadership of the PA to prepare for the holding of free and fair legislative and presidential ballots as soon as possible. In this context, they remind the Palestinian side of the importance of an independent judiciary and the respect for freedom of expression, while also calling on Israel to respect its obligations to allow elections take place in East Jerusalem.

“Today is an important day. The European Parliament stress the importance of respect for international law in the pursuit of a just and lasting peaceful two-state solution. A strong and democratic Palestinian Authority is an essential part of reaching that goal. An end to the occupation and to the expansion of Israeli settlements is equally vital. The EU has also a responsibility to strengthen the cooperation with the PA based on a long-term approach instead of yearly ad hoc interactions. These recommendations to the Council, the Commission and High Representative Josep Borrell comes at an extraordinarily crucial time”, said rapporteur Evin Incir (S&D, Sweden) after the vote.

Consider EU targeted measures for settlement expansion

MEPs continue to state that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law and demand their immediate end. Pointing out that these settlements constitute a major obstacle to the viability of the two-state solution, including lasting peace and security, MEPs call for new efforts to end the latest cycle of settlement related violence and say the EU should considerer targeted measures specifically addressing settlement expansion in the West Bank.

They also express concern about EU policy and EU financial assistance in the Palestinian territories being undermined by illegal settlements and demand compensation for the demolition of all EU-funded infrastructure in the area. The text notes that, in 2022, 101 structures funded by the EU or EU member states (valued at €337,019) were demolished or seized by Israeli authorities.

War crimes in the occupied Palestinian territories

The resolution reiterates the EU’s strong support for the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) work and its impartiality and neutrality. However, MEPs note the limited progress in the ICC’s ongoing investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied Palestinian territories. They also ask the EU to commit to helping the ICC and its Prosecutor to move forward with the investigation and prosecution.

MEPs also ask the EU to commission a legal opinion assessing the political and economic consequences of the Israeli move to transfer broad authority over civilian issues in the West Bank to the Israeli Finance Minister, which would enable the deepening of Israel’s presence in the Palestinian territories.

Sever all ties with terrorists, monitor funding

Finally, Parliament calls on the Palestinian Authority to condemn and sever all links with extremist organisations and terrorist groups active in the region. It also asks the EU to monitor more effectively the use of European funding by the Palestinian Authority and all beneficiaries.

For all the details, the recommendations will be available here (12.07.2023). They were adopted by 338 votes in favour, 195 against with 102 abstentions.


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