On the second day of their visit in Palestine, members of GUE/NGL parliamentary group witnessed the reality of the occupation of the West Bank and met the Mayors and Governors of both Hebron and Bethlehem. In Hebron they saw how partition is in place in the old city, with Palestinians having to contend with over 100 checkpoints and daily settler aggression. In Bethlehem the MEPs discussed the stark contradictions between Israel’s actions and their stated aim of peace; last week Israel announced it would seize over 1000 acres of Palestinian land near Bethlehem.
Group of MEP’s visited family of the murdered Palestinian 17-year old Mohamed Khdeir at their home in East Jerusalem. Mohamed was kidnapped by Israelis and set on fire after having been forced to swallow petrol. The Khdeir family are taking the police to court as they failed to locate the perpetrators despite having been presented with video evidence of the kidnap. GUE/NGL MEPs pledged to offer support to the family in bringing the case to the attention of the ECHR.
Delegation of 13 MEP’s visited also the Makassed Islamic Charitable Hospital in East Jerusalem where they met victims of Israel’s latest attack on Gaza, they called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate these war crimes.
Later that day Members of the European Parliament issued a statement in solidarity with the people of Gaza, calling for suspension of EU-Israel Association Agreement – the main framework for EU-Israeli economic and military cooperation.
In a statement they said: “Israel’s direct targeting of civilians and its reckless cause of civilian deaths is a clear breach of international human rights law.
Given that Article 2 of the EU-Israeli association agreement states that the agreement would end if there is evidence of human rights abuses, MEPs are calling for an immediate end to the association agreement.”