Procedure : 2016/2998(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0352/2017

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 18/05/2017 - 11.10
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


PDF 175kWORD 53k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0345/2017

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on achieving the two-state solution in the Middle East (2016/2998(RSP))

Hilde Vautmans, Marietje Schaake on behalf of the ALDE Group

European Parliament resolution on achieving the two-state solution in the Middle East (2016/2998(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle East Peace Process,

–  having regard to previous UN resolutions, including Resolution 2334/2016 adopted by the UN Security Council on 23 December 2016,

–  having regard to the Report of the UN Secretary-General on human rights in the occupied Syrian Golan presented to the General Assembly on 10 January 2017,

–  having regard to the EU Foreign Affairs Council discussion of 6 January 2017 on the Middle East Peace Process,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process of 18 January 2016,

–  having regard to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the State of Israel, of the other part,

–  having regard to the Quartet Report of May 2016,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice- President of the Commission (the ‘High Representative’) has on several occasions expressed her commitment to renewing and intensifying the Union’s role in the peace process;

B.  whereas the time during which European diplomacy has remained in observer mode should therefore come to an end;

C.  whereas in April 2015 the High Representative appointed a new EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process (the ‘EU Special Representative’);

D.  whereas the occupation has now lasted for more than 50 years and the Oslo I Accords were signed in 1993;

E.  whereas an ongoing process exists in a number of Member States to recognise the State of Palestine;

F.  whereas the European Union considers that in the current changing international political environment, the Middle East Peace Process requires more than ever strong coordination and strong unity of the parties, the region and the international community;

G.  whereas protecting the Palestinian population and its rights, including prisoners’ rights, in the West Bank, with particular regard to Area C, and in East Jerusalem is of the utmost importance for preserving the viability of the two-state solution;

H.  whereas in April 2017 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced the fact that authorities in Gaza carried out three executions in breach of Palestine’s obligations under international law;

I.  whereas the European Union is the biggest financial aid provider to the Palestinian Authority and is also Israel’s largest trading partner; whereas Israel has access to EU funds under Horizon 2020, and is party to agreements on agricultural, industrial and pharmaceutical products;

J.  whereas alongside the efforts deployed to re-launch the peace process, concrete cooperation projects exist such as the Red Sea–Dead Sea water conveyance which offers a vision of hope, peace and reconciliation that the region so greatly needs;

1.  Reiterates its support for the two-state solution, under which the State of Israel, with secure and recognised borders, and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine live side by side in peace and security, and has declared that no changes to the pre-1967 borders, others than those agreed by the parties, will be recognised, including with regard to Jerusalem as capital of the two states;

2.  Strongly opposes all actions that undermine the viability of the two-state solution and urges both sides to demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to a two-state solution in order to rebuild trust and create a path towards meaningful negotiations; asks the EEAS and the EU delegations in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to this end to continue to closely monitor developments on the ground and their broader implications and to consider further action in order to protect the viability of the two-state solution, which is constantly being eroded by new facts on the ground;

Obstacles to the two-state solution

3.  Considers, in this context, that the existence and construction of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law and constitute a major obstacle to the two-state solution;

4.  Regrets, in particular, the approval of the ‘Regulation law’ by the Knesset on 6 February 2017, which allows for the retroactive legalisation of settlements built on Palestinians’ properties without the consent of the legitimate private owner; regrets the Israeli Government’s subsequent decision on 30 March 2017 to issue tenders for new settlements deep inside the West Bank;

5.  Calls, therefore, on Israel to dismantle the outposts erected since March 2001, in line with the Quartet 2002 Roadmap, and to end all settlement activity; reiterates its call on the Israeli authorities to put an end to the blockade in Gaza immediately, with due consideration of its need to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks;

6.  Condemns the demolitions of EU-funded structures and projects in the occupied territories; urges EU-funded organisations working on the ground to work with Israeli ministries to prevent such destruction happening again;

7.  Recalls that compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law by states and non-state actors, including accountability for their actions, is a cornerstone of peace and security in the region;

8.  Regrets that the deteriorating political and economic situation constitutes a challenge for the Palestinian Authority to fully display its leadership in order to speak with one Palestinian voice at the negotiating table, and hampers the fight against violence and incitement, especially where Palestinian youth is involved;

9.  Stresses that the Palestinian Authority should speak with one voice during the negotiations with Israel, representing not only the West Bank, but also the Gaza Strip; calls on Hamas to accept that the Palestinian Authority also represents Gaza;

10.  Recalls that the continuing violence, recent acts of terrorism against Israelis and incitement to violence are fundamentally incompatible with advancing a peaceful two-state solution and are greatly exacerbating mistrust between the communities; regrets that the Palestinian Authority keeps making martyrs of Palestinians killed in Israel while conducting terror attacks;

11.  Calls on the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to conduct fully effective and timely operations, such as dismantling the illicit build-up of arms and counteracting the activities of militant Palestinian groups, such as firing rockets at Israel;

12.  Urges the authorities in Gaza to halt further executions and calls on the Palestinian Authority to establish an official moratorium on the use of the death penalty immediately, with a view to its abolition;

13.  Calls on both sides to take immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as provocation, incitement and destruction;

A new European peace initiative: speaking with one voice

14.  Reminds Member States of the Venice Declaration of June 1980 whereby EU Member States assumed their responsibility in the peace process, and calls for a new Venice Declaration to be adopted on the occasion of the 50 years of occupation in June this year; calls on the High Representative to use this new declaration to engage in setting up a European peace initiative;

15.  Stresses the need for the EU to assume a key and recognisable role within the Quartet and in the negotiations with the parties involved in the region; welcomes, therefore, the appointment by the High Representative of an EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process as a clear signal of the EU’s engagement;

16.  Regrets, however, that since the appointment of the Special Representative the Union does not seem to be playing any greater role in resolving the conflict; urges the High Representative and the EU Special Representative, therefore, to make better use of the political relations and institutional expertise of the EU and its Member States, based as they are on Europe’s geographical proximity, historical ties and intensive economic exchanges with the Middle East region, in order to ensure a more active and efficient political role in the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, and between Arab states and Israel in general;

17.  Underscores, in this regard, the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace initiative, as well as the renewed efforts of the Quartet and Egypt; recognises France’s initiative in convening an international peace conference;

18.  Underlines that, in order to support a genuine European peace initiative, it is the primary duty of the Member States to contribute actively to the shaping of a united European position and to refrain from unilateral initiatives that weaken European action;

19.  Underlines that European Heads of State and Government cannot ask the Union to be proactive in the region if their diverging positions prevent the Union from speaking with one voice through the High Representative;

20.  Underlines that the future development of relations between the EU and both the Israeli and Palestinian partners will also depend on their commitment to a lasting peace based on a two-state solution;

21.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President / High Representative, the EU Special Representative, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Quartet Envoy to the Middle East, the Knesset and the Government of Israel, the President of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Legal notice