SOLIDAR Statement on Palestine: urgent EU action is needed

SOLIDAR expresses deep concern about what is happening in the tormented land of Palestine.

Firstly, the postponement of the long-awaited elections scheduled for 22 May, and then the provocation of fanatic Israeli settler to march on the old city shouting "death to Arabs" toghether with the closure of the main square to Palestinian to reach the Ramadan prayer, and the long policy of allowing settler to expel Palestinian from their home in many quarters of East Jerusalem and specially Sheik Jarrah, led to yet another wave of violence in the city of Jerusalem, which immediately spread to other Israeli and Palestinian cities, rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and subsequent Israeli military action. This shows how indispensable it is to put an end to the violence that broke out in the city of East Jerusalem, and how indispensable it is for the United Nations, the European Union and its member states to take a clear stand in order to respect the rights of the Palestinian population.

The decision to postpone the elections is a direct consequence of the state of weakness and legal precariousness in which the Palestinian population, stateless and under occupation, lives. The behaviour of the Israeli government was clearly hostile to the holding of the elections, from the rejection of the European Parliament observer mission, to the arrests of candidates and the prohibition of any electoral activity in East Jerusalem, in violation of the Oslo agreements governing the status quo, to rule the elections in Palestine territory, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.

The expulsions of Palestinian families from their homes in the Silwan and Sheik Jarrah neighbourhoods, in addition to show the application of the law in an ethnic and discriminatory manner, only fuels new hatred and violence between the two communities. Thinking of solving the "Palestinian question" with forced expropriations, house demolitions and replacing the Palestinian population with new Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem is the most harmful and contrary to the construction of a just peace and coexistence between the two communities.

We call the European Union and the heads of government who care about peace and coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis to take a diplomatic and political action in the frame of the United Nations:

  • To stop this new wave of violence: ask Hamas to stop sending rockets and Israel to stop any kind of retaliation while lifting the siege in Gaza;
  • To deploy all political, diplomatic and international law instruments to stop the expropriation and demolition of houses in East Jerusalem;
  • To demand to the Israelian government to remove all obstacles for the implementation of free and regular of elections in West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip, as provided for in the Oslo Accords, signed by the parties;
  • To support and assist the Palestinian National Authority for the organization and implementation of the election process, avoinding any further delay;
  • To send international neutral observers to monitor the electoral process, the days of the vote and the counting of votes, to be carried out in accordance with international standards of transparency and with full voting rights for all the population residing in the West Bank, Jerusalem District and the Gaza Strip;
  • To take action for an immediate recognition of the State of Palestine as a full member of the United Nations, to enable the two states to negotiate directly on equal terms, in mutual and full sovereignty.

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