Members of the European Parliament’s official delegation have made a visit to Palestine to assess the conditions of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons and to discuss the use of EU money on humanitarian projects in the Gaza Strip. The delegation was denied access to the Israeli prisons and the Gaza Strip by the Israeli authorities.
Israel claims that the MEPs from the European Parliament’s delegation on Palestine through the Erez crossing will not be solely concerned with humanitarian matters, but the allegation has been strongly refuted by the MEPs, who say that Israel’s closure of the Gaza Strip is in breach of international law.
An official delegation of MEP’s from the European Parliament stated that « Israel has inflicted an economic catastrophe upon the people of Gaza and the humanitarian consequences are all too well known.”
« The Geneva Convention makes clear that Israel is responsible for the well- being of the people under its control and occupation, but the EU is paying bills that are rightly Israel’s responsibility. » – they said
“As so often in the past we are disappointed, indeed outraged, to hear yet again of the injustices of Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine - of confiscations and of demolitions, of settlement building and of the exclusion of Palestinians from so much of their own land, of humiliations and of killing, with the Israeli perpetrators facing nothing by way of punishment.” – the delegation write in their statement
According to the MEP’s “EU criticises Israel for all these things but we regret that the EU’s words are too rarely followed by action. On the contrary, relations between the EU and Israel remain very close and we fear that Israel will too often assume this amounts to tacit support for its behaviour. We call upon the European Union to apply more pressure on Israel to change its ways, and we do this because we are friends of both Palestinians and Israelis and we believe it is in the interests of all that the occupation is brought to a swift end »