S&D members call for immediate action against escalating tensions in Jerusalem

S&D members call for immediate action against escalating tensions in Jerusalem, Elena Valenciano and Victor Boştinaru, Christians, Jews and Muslims,

After 50 years of occupation, the time has come that both sides make credible and serious efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians with the support of the international community. Terrorism, violence, military operations, provocation and incitement will only create more suffering to both populations without bringing closer a peace agreement, say S&D members. 

S&D Group vice-presidents Elena Valenciano and Victor Boştinaru said:

"We strongly condemn all acts of terror and violence on both sides, and we call for immediate action aimed at preventing the further escalation of tensions, in particular in Jerusalem. We express our solidarity with the families of the victims and with all peace-loving Israelis and Palestinians that condemn the loss of innocent lives and are ready to work together for peace.

"Jerusalem is a unique place: a holy city for Christians, Jews and Muslims, which could become a universal symbol of peace for humanity. Nevertheless, it remains divided today and continues to suffer from tensions in the Old City and occupation and settlements in East Jerusalem.

"The Israeli government has a special responsibility to uphold the status quo of Jerusalem Old City, together with the Jordanian government and in cooperation with the Palestinian authority. Adding a religious layer to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would have catastrophic consequences. Israel, as occupying power, also has the duty of preserving East Jerusalem for a future of two states living side-by-side in peace, security and mutual recognition along the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as capital of both states.

"Palestinian extremists must put an immediate end to acts of terror against Israeli civilians while Israeli security forces must avoid the excessive use of force against Palestinians. Nothing can justify the loss of innocent lives on both sides. The best way to put an end to the vicious circle of terror and violence fuelled by occupation is to put an end to occupation itself."