Friday, April 6, 2012

European Parliamentarians: Israel Should be Held Accountable for its Actions

BRUSSELS, April, 4, 2012 (WAFA) - A five-member European Parliament delegation on a visit to the occupied territories expressed shock at Israeli settlers’ violence against Palestinian civilians, a statement by the delegation said Wednesday.
“The delegation witnessed the impact of the Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem and Area C in the West Bank and was shocked by evidence of the Israeli settler violence against peaceful inhabitants as reported by UN and international humanitarian organisations,” said the statement.
“The delegation condemns the Israeli policy of the special planning and zoning controls in the occupied Palestinian territories, which has led to the demolition of habitable houses and destruction of valuable infrastructure projects many of which have been funded through the European Union and its Member States taxpayers,” it added.
The primary purpose of the visit is to focus on the internal reconciliation, the situation in Area C, the Israeli settlements, water issue, political prisoners and the attacks on the media.
The delegation, led by Irish European Parliament member Emer Costello, met with the elected representatives of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) and saw firsthand the conditions on the ground of the Palestinian people living in the territories.
The conclusion for the delegation is that the Oslo agreements with the division into Areas A, B and C, which was intended to be an interim arrangement, have turned out to be a burden for the Palestinians and are used by Israel as a legitimation for a de facto annexation.
Israel’s obligations as an occupying power are not being met and Israel is violating International Law by denying the Palestinian citizens their basic human rights (freedom of movement, access to water, evictions from their homes etc).
The delegation called on the EU High Representative (HR) and the Member States to demand Israel adhere to international law in the occupied territories and refrain from any upgrading in the relationship with Israel.
“Measures must to be taken to ensure that products made in the settlements do not receive any preferential treatment in the EU market,” said the statement. “Moreover, the HR and the Member States should seek appropriate compensation from the Israeli authorities for any European project or service provided for the Palestinian people which are destroyed by Israel.”
The Delegation is composed of the Chair Emer Costello (S&D, Ir), Vice-Chair Margrete Auken (Greens, Dk) and Members Nicolo Rinaldi (ALDE, It), Roza Thun (EPP, Pl) and Norbert Neuser (S&D, De).Palestine News & Info Agency - WAFA