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05-04-2012

Israel should be held accountable for its actions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories

A five member cross party delegation of the European Parliament, led by  Emer Costello (President of the EP's Delegation for Palestine), visited the occupied Palestinian territories (oPT: West Bank and East Jerusalem) from 2 to 5 April 2012.

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 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 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. The Delegation condemns the Israeli policy of the special planning and zoning controls in the oPT 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.

The Conclusion for the Delegation is that the Oslo Accords 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 being 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 calls upon the EU High Representative (HR) and the Member States to demand Israel adhere to international law in the oPT and any progress in the relationship with Israel should be linked to the implementation of the international law. Measures must to be taken to ensure that products made in the settlements do not receive any preferential treatment in EU markets. 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).

ENDS - for  further information contact Emer Costello MEP at 086.3831805, Dublin Office - 01.8746109. Facebook/Twitter - emercostello