West Midlands MEP Phil Bennion presents news of a strongly-worded cross-party resolution ‘brokered’ on Israeli settlements in the West Bank and adopted by the European Parliament in Strasbourg last Thursday.
The resolution warns of the dangers of new and expanded Israeli settlements, which carve the remainder of the Palestinian territory in two, making a two state solution less likely. It addresses some Hamas statements and calls for Palestinian reconciliation.
MEPs also criticised other policies including:
- the Israeli government’s withholding of Palestinian tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority,
- and the ongoing blockade of Gaza, which creates hostility and misery among the Palestinian people with no practical benefit to Israel.
Phil Bennion said: ” . . . the European Parliament has managed to agree a statement which sends out a clear message to both sides that we want a meaningful peace process to be launched.
“However I worry that these words may continue to fall on deaf ears. The EU must continue to apply pressure on all parties in the region to work towards a negotiated and amicable peace deal ensuring a secure state of Israel and a viable state of Palestine.
“The EU as a key aid donor to the Palestinians and a major trade partner with Israel has real economic leverage over both sides.
“I urge our leaders to start using this leverage to ensure all sides commit to meaningful dialogue and to an immediate end to provocative and destructive policies in the region.”
The full text of the resolution as adopted may be seen here.