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EU should play a leading role in the promotion of a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians

News item

Sunday 1 Feb 2015

MEPs have written to Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission stating ‘The EU should play a leading role in the promotion of a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians that is based on international law.’

January 2015

Honourable High Representative,

As you know, over 300 human rights groups, trade unions and political parties from across the European Union have written to you to call for the EU to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement.

Amnesty International and Palestinian organisations have documented that Israel deliberately targeted civilians and committed other war crimes during its recent onslaught against Palestinians in Gaza.

These are serious violations of international law and international humanitarian law that cannot be tolerated.

The EU has quite rightly condemned Israel’s construction of settlements on occupied Palestinian territory as illegal under international law. Unfortunately, the EU’s objections about settlement construction do not appear to have had a significant impact on Israeli policy.

Various bodies of the United Nations, including the Human Rights Council, have also condemned Israel’s violations of international law repeatedly.

Article 2 of the Association Agreement states that relations between the EU and Israel must “be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles”.

There is an increasing concern that the failure of the EU to react appropriately to Israel’s breaches of its commitments according to Article 2 of the Association Agreement sends Israel the message that its violations of basic principles of human rights will be tolerated.

Furthermore, the EU’s lack of substantial action with regards to Israel appears out of step with the speed at which it has implemented restrictive measures on Russia with regards to the Ukraine crisis in recent months, as well as the restrictive measures implemented against more than 30 other countries.

The Lisbon Treaty states that the Union’s external actions must be guided by the principles of fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity, equality and solidarity, democracy, the rule of law, the UN Charter and international law.

For the EU to meet these legal obligations and in order to remain a credible actor that is able to improve human rights and fundamental freedoms through its actions, it is necessary that the EU enforces conditionality clauses such as the Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement

The EU should play a leading role in the promotion of a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians that is based on international law.

For these reasons, we call on the Commission to consider the suspension of Association Agreement with Israel unless Israel takes substantial and immediate steps to bring its conduct in line with international law.

At the very least, we urge the Commission to consider what steps must be taken for the EU and its member states to meet their legal obligation, as set out in the 2004 ruling of the International Court of Justice, not to render recognition, aid or assistance to Israeli violations of international law, including by imposing restrictive measures on trade and economic relations that facilitate the ongoing existence and expansion of illegal Israeli settlements.

We urge you to take strong action in support of a just peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

Yours sincerely,

1 Martina Anderson MEP (Ireland, GUE/NGL)

2 Patrick Le Hyaric MEP (France, GUE/NGL)

3 Angela Vallina MEP (Spain, GUE/NGL)

4 Marisa Matias MEP (Portugal, GUE/NGL)

5 Lynn Boylan MEP (Ireland, GUE/NGL)

6 Liadh Ní Ríada MEP (Ireland, GUE/NGL)

7 Matt Carthy MEP (Ireland, GUE/NGL)

8 Younous Omarjee MEP (France, GUE/NGL)

9 Lidia Rodriguez Senra MEP (Galicia, GUE/NGL)

10 Marie Christine Vergiat MEP (France, GUE/NGL)

11 Lola Sanchez Caldentey MEP (Spain, GUE/NGL)

12 Anne-Marie Mineur MEP (Netherlands, GUE/NGL)

13 Dennis De Jong MEP (Netherlands, GUE/NGL)

14 Pablo Iglesias MEP (Spain, GUE/NGL)

15 Teresa Rodriguez-Rubia MEP (Spain, GUE/NGL)

16 Tania Gonzalez Peña MEP (Spain, GUE/NGL)

17 Pablo Echenique MEP (Spain, GUE/NGL)

18 Neoklis Sylikiotis MEP (Cyprus, GUE/NGL)

19 Josè Bovè, MEP (France, Greens/EFA)

20 Merja Kyllonen MEP (Finland, GUE/NGL)

21 Javier Nart MEP (Spain, ALDE)

22 Keith Taylor MEP (UK, Greens/EFA)

23 Ana Gomes MEP (Portugal, S&D)

24 Marina Albiol MEP (Spain, GUE/NGL)

25 Josu Juaristi MEP (Basque, GUE/NGL)

26 Javier Couso MEP (Spain, GUE/NGL)

27 Paloma Lopez MEP (Spain, GUE/NGL)

28 Malin Björk MEP (Sweden, GUE/NGL)

29 Rina Ronja Kari MEP (Denmark, GUE/NGL)

30 Jill Evans MEP (UK, Greens/EFA)

31 Sofia Sakorafa MEP (Greece, GUE/NGL)

32 Nessa Childers MEP (Ireland, S&D)

33 Eleonora Forenza MEP (Italy, GUE/NGL)

34 João FERREIRA MEP (Portugal, GUE/NGL)

35 Ines Zuber MEP (Portugal, GUE/NGL)

36 Miguel Viegas MEP (Portugal, GUE/NGL)

37 Marian Harkin MEP (Ireland, ALDE)

38 Marie-Christine VERGIAT MEP (France, GUE/NGL)

39 Bodil Ceballos MEP (Sweden, Greens/EFA)

40 Karima Delli MEP (France, Greens/EFA)

41 Pascal Durand MEP (France, Greens/EFA)

42 Yannick Jadot MEP (France, Greens/EFA)

43 Eva Joly MEP (France, Greens/EFA)

44 Michele Rivasi MEP (France, Greens/EFA)

45 Alyn Smith MEP  (UK, Greens/EFA)

46 Molly Scott Cato MEP (UK, Greens/EFA)

47 Curzio Maltese MEP (Italy, GUE/NGL)

48 Jordi Sebastia MEP (Spain, Greens/EFA) (mandate 2014-2015)

49 Florent Marcellesi MEP (Spain, Greens/EFA) (mandate 2016-2017)

50 Dimitrios Papadimoulis MEP (Greece, GUE/NGL)

51 Ivo Vajgl MEP  (Slovenia, ALDE)

52 Josep-Maria Terricabras MEP (Spain, Greens/EFA)

53 Sirpa Pietikäinen MEP  (Finland, EPP)

54 Tanja Fajon MEP  (Slovenia, S&D)

55 Philippe Lamberts MEP (Belgium, Greens/EFA)

56 Ernest Urtasun MEP (Spain, Greens/EFA)

57 Judith Sargentini  MEP (Netherlands, Greens/EFA)