S&Ds call for an immediate end to demolitions and displacements in Palestine
Following last night's plenary debate on the situation in the West Bank, S&D vice-president Victor Boştinaru said:
"The only possible solution for lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians remains the two-state solution. Therefore, saving the prospects of a two-state solution must be a priority for the EU. Ongoing developments in the West Bank, in particular in area C, are a serious threat in this regard, as they create realities on the ground which may prove to be irreversible. We have to say it very clearly: The demolition of Palestinian houses and the displacement of Palestinian families must stop immediately.
"We have also experienced waves of demolitions of EU-funded infrastructure in Palestine - both in the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip - over the past years. This must come to an end, as well. European taxpayers' money cannot be spent on projects which are repeatedly destroyed by Israel without helping the Palestinian families in need. Israel is our close partner in today's troubled Middle East. But Israel must assume her responsibility and must be held responsible by the international community for her actions, in the field of respect for international humanitarian law in particular. We continue to support the EU's structured dialogue with Israel, and we also call for transparency with regard to destroyed EU-funded projects.
"We all know that the EU is the principal donor to Palestinians. But we also know that in the absence of a political settlement, aid has very limited potential. This means our principal goal should remain a political process leading to a negotiated two-state solution between both sides. No doubt, this has to be accompanied by improving the EU's aid efficiency and promoting good governance in our relations with the Palestinian Authority. We need to seriously address these challenges if we do not want to lose the hope of peace in the Middle East."
S&D MEP and vice-chair of the delegation for relations with Palestine, Marita Ulvskog, added:
"The European Union cannot stand idly by and watch as international humanitarian law is being violated. We call now on the High Representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, Federica Mogherini, to convey a strong and clear message to Israeli authorities that the extensive demolition of Palestinian homes and EU funded humanitarian projects on the West Bank must come to an immediate stop."