A group of European Parliamentarians from 10 European Union countries (from national parliaments and the European Parliament) have written to the European Union’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell. It addresses the Prime Minister Netanyahu’s annexationist policies.
European diplomats state that these policy decisions are designed to advance the separate, discriminatory and unequal system (designated by leading global and local human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, B’Tselem and Al-Haq, as meeting the legal definition of Apartheid) in the occupied Palestinian territory and expel Palestinians from their land.
“They must be challenged by all those in Europe who uphold the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and strive for consistency in the application of international law” – the letter states.
European diplomats demands specifically to:
- warn that any Israeli action to (a) alter the status quo in Jerusalem, (b) build further illegal settlements (eg on E1) or (c) evict Palestinians from their homes (eg in Masafer Yatta) will have severe consequences for our bilateral relations in deed, not just in word. In relation to Masafer Yatta, we condemn the new Israeli government’s intention to forcibly evict and dispossess over 1,000 Palestinians in 14 villages, and condemn the demolition by Israel on 23 November of the Italian-financed primary school at Khirbet al-Safai al-Foqa. A shocking number of 44 more Palestinian schools are listed for demolition. School demolition is a crime committed against children – denying them an education and thus a better future. These crimes must not be committed with impunity;
- end trade in goods and services with illegal settlements, and review all bilateral cooperation programmes to ensure that they comply with UN Security Council Resolution 2334. It is vital to differentiate between the territory of the state of Israel and the Palestinian territory which Israel occupied militarily in 1967. The occupied Palestinian territory does not belong to Israel – that fact is beyond dispute;
- end the supply of offensive weapons or other assistance liable to be misused to support Israeli Government-initiated violence in East Jerusalem, the rest of the West Bank and Gaza.
“The European Union has taken a clear, principled position in support of the rules-based order concerning Russia’s invasion and partial annexation of Ukraine. The acquisition of territory by force is illegal, whether by Russia or by Israel. We ask you to uphold the law without fear or favour – that is the only way to maintain essential consistency in our conduct of international relations” – the letter ends.
Read the full letter here.
(Photo credit AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)