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Debates
Tuesday, 22 November 2016 - Strasbourg Revised edition

11. Situation in the West Bank, including settlements (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Elnök asszony. – A következő pont a Bizottság alelnökének és az Unió külügyi és biztonságpolitikai főképviselőjének nyilatkozata a ciszjordániai, többek között a telepekkel kapcsolatos helyzetről [2016/2998(RSP)]

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. –Madam President, let me at the outset, and in order to properly frame this exchange, recall that the European Union has a clear position, set out in our Council conclusions, to pursue the two-state solution. The same two-state solution that since Oslo has been identified as the objective of all Israeli Governments, of the Palestinian leadership and of the international community. This to us is a clear position and also a clear objective not only of ours, but also that we share with the rest of the international community and of the parties.

As the July report of the Quartet points out, action is needed to preserve the possibility of achieving this goal that is commonly shared, at least formally. Stopping the expansion of settlements is an integral part of the efforts to keep the solution of two viable and contiguous states on the table. The so-called regularisation bill, which passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset would allow for the ex-post legalisation of Israeli outposts in the occupied West Bank. It would enable essentially the confiscation of the private property rights of Palestinian land owners in the West Bank for the benefit of settlers. This would mean crossing a new threshold, even under Israeli law, for the settlement enterprise in the West Bank. It would also mean the exact opposite of what the Quartet that has called for, namely preserving the two-state solution.

The debate in Israel on the regularisation bill has not concluded, but the choices are clear: either to uphold the principle of the two-state solution, or to go down the path of a one-state reality which will only lead to further conflict and instability at a time when the Middle East needs all the stability it can get. The choice belongs to Israel, but I believe it is only normal that we express our own views as any friend would do.

The Quartet report on which the European Union has worked very much has identified the process to retroactively legalise outposts as a threat against a two-state solution. There is an international consensus on this because the report is the result of common work we have done. It is true there has been a strong EU involvement and leadership in this, but we’ve done this together with the UN, the US and the Russian Federation. So these statements that we have in the report of the Quartet that we presented in July is a statement that we share with our friends in the international community. We have a very detailed description in the report of the situation on the ground, and a shared assessment of the risk it poses to peace.

But is also important to keep in mind that the debate on the regularisation bill is controversial inside the Israeli leadership and inside the Israeli society, and that the process is still open. The Israeli Attorney General himself has been very explicit that this bill is unconstitutional under Israeli law, against previous rulings by Israel’s Supreme Court and in breach of international law. A final decision, as I said, has not been taken yet and I hope that the Israeli Government and legislators will do the right thing. We are in contact with the authorities in Israel and we’ve made the position of the European Union very clear to the government of Israel. We will continue to follow developments on this issue very closely together with Member States. Let me stress here the European Union is fully united on this issue.

As we also reflected in the Quartet report, our goal remains to help find a new path to successful final status negotiations. We need to rebuild the conditions for a peace process that can bring results – as I said several times in this House, not a process for the sake of a process – actually today even more than before we need to preserve, recreate political conditions and I would say that today even more than yesterday, it is crucial that the European Union builds and preserves international unity on this issue. Today is more important than yesterday, both on the fundamental coordinates of the two-state solution and on the way to get there.

Our role is more important than ever today. Our regional partners can also play a major role in promoting and supporting a solution. The Arab Peace Initiative in particular, with its vision for a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace, remains a key basis and offers significant opportunities, including with regard to regional security that I believe would be extremely beneficial for Israel itself. At the same time, we know that real peace requires a real commitment from the Israeli and Palestinian leaderships and this is why the internal Israeli debate is so important to us. We’ve talked about settlement policy, where we sometimes differ – I would say often differ – from the Israeli Government, but there has also recently been some positive steps such as plans and pyramids for Palestinian construction inside Area C and this was also not uncontroversial at all within the Israeli Government and opinions.

So I believe we should not only criticise when we do not agree, but also acknowledge what we see as positive steps and encourage more of this and also more ambitious steps that lead to real progress on the ground.

So let me conclude on a more personal note. Two months ago I was in Jerusalem for the funeral of a great Israeli man and a great man of peace, Shimon Peres. It was a very sad moment also for me personally, I had known him for many years, and yet it showed that hope is still alive. An important gesture came that day from President Abbas – his presence at the funeral in Jerusalem and the handshake with Prime Minister Netanyahu were little steps in the right direction, a little moment of hope. And the night before the funeral I had the opportunity to have a long meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, in which he recognised, as Peres did, that only peace can bring security to Israel. So in difficult times for the Middle East we need to keep our eyes wide open, not only for the extremely worrying developments but also for any glimpses of hope and seize every opportunity that comes our way to make it grow.

I know this Parliament will keep its attention high both on the worrying developments, but also on the opportunities for peace, and encourage and accompany our work for making them grow.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda, au nom du groupe PPE. – Madame la Présidente, mon groupe a voulu changer l'intitulé de ce débat. Nous n'avons malheureusement pas réussi, mais notre position reste la même.

Dans le contexte actuel au Proche-Orient, cela a peu de sens de discuter de la situation en Cisjordanie, y compris dans les colonies, en l'isolant du reste compte tenu des multiples facettes du conflit israélo-palestinien. Si notre objectif est d'avancer vers la paix, je ne crois pas que notre débat soit très utile si on se focalise sur les colonies. Cela se reflète d'ailleurs dans le rapport du Quartet du mois de juillet, qui identifie comme obstacles non seulement cette question, mais aussi le terrorisme, l'incitation à la violence, la prolifération des groupes armés et l'absence d'unité du côté palestinien, ainsi que la situation très tendue dans la bande de Gaza. Nous devrions aborder cette situation dans sa globalité, puisque tous ces éléments font obstacle à la paix.

Puis, la question des colonies doit en effet être résolue par les négociations, mais avec les autres questions controversées, telles que les frontières, les arrangements de sécurité et le statut des réfugiés des deux côtés.

Or le problème est que les négociations de paix sont maintenant à l'arrêt. Nos efforts devraient être canalisés afin d’évoluer vers la création d'un environnement qui permette la reprise de négociations sérieuses et effectives. Nous le savons tous ici: il n'y a pas de solution de rechange et il n'y a pas de substitut possible aux négociations directes entre Israéliens et Palestiniens. Cette question est très claire, ce sont les Palestiniens qui refusent maintenant les négociations.

Enfin, je crois que l'Europe doit sérieusement réfléchir à la manière de prendre en compte la nouvelle donne au niveau international dans son approche du processus de paix au Proche-Orient.

Entre une Russie de plus en plus active dans la zone et sur cette question en particulier, et l'incertitude liée à la nouvelle administration américaine, il y a une chance pour l'Europe de jouer un rôle plus affirmé en faveur de la paix.

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, High Representative Mogherini, we will commemorate next year 50 years of occupation and peace is still completely absent. Since we embarked one year ago on an unsuccessful structured dialogue with Israel, demolitions are on the rise and new settlements have been decided. It is important to stop this trend, not only because this is a loss of European taxpayers’ money, but because we have to stop further displacement of Palestinian families living in this area and ensure that European aid goes effectively to those in need.

There is no doubt that Israel has an obligation to respect international humanitarian law and to stop the expansion of settlements in this area and beyond. Israel is our partner in one of the most important and most insecure regions on earth, one of the few reliable partners in the Middle East in turmoil. But Israel has to assume its responsibility for its actions as a sovereign and democratic state, and to ensure the respect of its own international commitments and democratic principles that it stands by. The establishment of the settlements as it stands today have been repeatedly and almost unanimously condemned by the international community. This effectively divides the West Bank and makes the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote. Indeed, continuing on the current path will make the prospect of a two-state solution remote while this is the only outcome to achieve an enduring peace for the two sides who need it, the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Therefore, the main objective of the EU should be to further invest in the Middle East peace process. Furthermore, both sides, the Israelis and Palestinians, have the responsibility to revive this process for the sake of their own citizens. It is essential not to let the states solution unravel and I really hope the new leadership in Palestine will act equally for peace.

 
  
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  Bas Belder, namens de ECR-Fractie. – De invloed van de radicale islam neemt toe op de Westelijke Jordaanoever, tot grote schrik van Palestijnse christenen waarmee ik spreek. Zij hebben immers de gewelddadige vervolging van geloofsgenoten in Syrië en Irak levendig voor ogen. Niet-opgeleide predikers die openlijk haat zaaien in tientallen nieuwe ongecontroleerde moskeeën versterken de levende angstgevoelens onder Palestijnse christenen. En dan spreken we nog niet van de existentiële vrees van tot het christendom overgegane moslims.

Achter dit sombere beeld van de situatie van Palestijnse christenen op de Westelijke Jordaanoever gaat bovendien sociale marginalisatie schuil op educatief gebied (onderwijs) en op de arbeidsmarkt. Palestijnse christenen durven zich vaak niet openlijk uit te spreken vanwege de repercussies. Geen wonder dat steeds meer Palestijnse christenen ook van de Westelijke Jordaanoever vertrekken, tot schade en schande van hun directe leefomgeving. Vandaar mijn dringende oproep aan mevrouw Mogherini, de hoge vertegenwoordiger, om de Palestijnse Autoriteit ernstig aan te spreken op de naleving van het grondrecht van geloofsvrijheid van Palestijnse christenen, want dat is ook cement voor die samenleving.

 
  
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  Elnök asszony. – Tájékoztatom a képviselőtársaimat, hogy nincsen „kékkártyás” lehetőség továbbra sem, ebben a tárgyalási pontban sem, 25 perces késésben vagyunk az eredetileg tervezetthez képest.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans, namens de ALDE-Fractie. – Ik denk dat het een belangrijk moment is om hier vandaag opnieuw te spreken over Israël en Palestina, want er is duidelijk een verslechtering van de situatie op het terrein. Bovendien, en dat was hier al de hele middag in de plenaire vergadering te horen, denk ik dat we met de verkiezing van Trump tot nieuwe president van de Verenigde Staten ook met betrekking tot het Midden-Oosten een wijziging mogen verwachten.

Mevrouw Mogherini, ik wil u een paar heel concrete vragen stellen. In mei van dit jaar hebben wij hier een uitvoerig debat gevoerd en heeft u mij beloofd dat u zou pleiten voor een terugbetaling van de projecten van de Europese Unie die vernield zijn. Mijn collega Jean Arthuis is ter plaatse geweest en heeft een en ander kunnen vaststellen. Mij hebben ze altijd geleerd: als je iets stukmaakt van een ander, dan moet je daarvoor betalen. Hoe ver staat u met dat proces en zal Israël inderdaad onze projecten die het heeft kapotgemaakt terugbetalen? Bent u voorts bereid om op de Europese Raad in december conclusies neer te leggen over het vredesproces in het Midden-Oosten? Ik denk dat het moment is aangebroken om alles samen te leggen en ik hoop dat u daar een standpunt naar voren kunt schuiven. Dan kunnen we later in de VN-Veiligheidsraad als Europa één standpunt ondersteunen over een resolutie met betrekking tot de nederzettingen. En tot slot, mevrouw Mogherini, krijgen we al een aantal jaren verslagen van onze diplomaten ter plaatse in Oost-Jeruzalem. We moeten echter vaststellen dat er met die verslagen heel weinig is gebeurd, dat de uitvoering van die aanbevelingen eigenlijk niet zo ver staat. Mijn vraag is heel concreet: wat gaan we daarmee doen? Gaan we werk maken van de uitvoering van die aanbevelingen met betrekking tot Oost-Jeruzalem?

Mevrouw Mogherini, ik heb u altijd bewonderd. Ik vind dat u heel veel goeds doet op buitenlands beleid, maar hier zou ik u willen vragen: zet u in. Zorg ervoor dat dit conflict eindelijk tot de geschiedenisboeken behoort.

 
  
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  Martina Anderson, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Madam President, the policy of building illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank is a major barrier and makes a two-state solution impossible. The settlements are not only illegal under international humanitarian law, they are war crimes. But the Israeli Government continues to build more settlements, demolish Palestinian homes and confiscate more Palestinian land, leading to more tension and, without doubt, more violence.

There are now 800 000 Israeli settlers living illegally on occupied Palestinian land in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. Some settlers involved in violence have citizenship of Member States, and they are violating international humanitarian law. Israel has been warned that demolitions and settlement constructions harm EU-Israeli relations, but where is the action?

The EU must do more than make hollow threats like a toothless tiger. Israel must be put under actual pressure, not just words. EU-Israeli relations must be made conditional on respect for, and compliance with, international law. The EU must suspend the EU-Israeli Association Agreement until Israel dismantles the illegal settlements, ends the occupation of Palestine and begins a genuine peace process for a lasting peace and a sustainable two-state solution.

 
  
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  Margrete Auken, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, I would like to say to Mrs Mogherini that I am puzzled by her lack of action in relation to Israel’s occupation of Palestine, even when she is not constrained by the division of our Member States. In stores across Europe, honey from the Jordan Valley and wine from the Golan Heights continue to be sold as ‘made in Israel’ in clear violation of the EU’s labelling rules. Mrs Mogherini, as guardian of the Treaties, why have you not taken action to enforce these rules?

You told us six months ago that you would take measures to claim compensation or restitution for EU projects demolished by Israel in the West Bank. Demolitions have continued. They have increased dramatically, and yet you have failed to take any action. It would be nice to have an answer about what prevented you, for instance, from subtracting the equivalent of the demolition from bilateral Commission programmes with Israel, such as twinning or Horizon 2020.

Mrs Mogherini, you have a historic opportunity to advance a differentiation policy across EU-Israel relations, distinguishing Israel proper from the settlements. I am convinced that such a policy would be a landmark contribution towards peace and would also ensure that our policies are fully in conformity with international law and our basic principles. So please act now. It is for the future of Israel and for the future of our relations, which would be flourishing if you did something real and not only words.

 
  
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  Rosa D'Amato, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, le colonie israeliane sono giudicate illegali dall'ONU, dall'Unione europea e dalla Corte internazionale di giustizia – è bene ricordarlo ai colleghi. La loro esistenza – e l'ho potuto vedere di persona in missione a febbraio con i colleghi della delegazione per le relazioni con la Palestina – è di ostacolo al raggiungimento di un accordo di pace in tempi brevi fra israeliani e palestinesi, soluzione che dovrebbe passare dalla soluzione dei due Stati.

Ma, colleghi, Vicepresidente Mogherini, come facciamo ancora a non sembrare utopistici a parlare di due Stati, quando tra il 2009 e il 2014 vi è stato un incremento del 23% del numero delle colonie, quando ormai i coloni hanno superato il mezzo milione di persone, quando ancora il 16 novembre il Parlamento israeliano ha approvato in lettura preliminare una legge che permetterebbe ai cittadini israeliani di appropriarsi forzosamente di terreni privati in territorio palestinese, limitandosi a compensare i proprietari con una somma di denaro. Il governo Netanyahu continua indisturbato a tutelare i coloni, assicurando loro acqua, elettricità, servizi di trasporto e totale impunità.

Concludo: chiedo a lei, Vicepresidente Mogherini … Le ripetute dichiarazioni di condanna di un europee e adesso anche degli Stati Uniti non hanno impedito agli insediamenti di cresce a dismisura ….

(Il Presidente toglie la parola all'oratore)

 
  
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  Marcus Pretzell, im Namen der ENF-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, meine Damen und Herren! Je weiter links wir in diesem Parlament kommen, desto schwerer scheint es manchem Redner zu fallen, seinen latenten Antisemitismus unter einer israelfeindlichen Maske zu verbergen.

Sie reden hier von einer Zweistaatenlösung, und Sie wissen, dass das nicht möglich ist, wenn Sie Sicherheitsaspekte für Israel dabei berücksichtigen. Sie reden davon, dass der Nahe Osten Stabilität braucht, und wenden sich gegen Israel, das der einzige Hort der Stabilität im Nahen Osten ist. Israel ist ein Rechtsstaat. Ich glaube, dass Israel ganz gut selbst diese juristischen Probleme im Westjordanland lösen kann.

Frau Mogherini, angesichts der Erfolge der Europäischen Union im Nahen Osten sollten Sie sich möglichst dort heraushalten. Ich glaube, damit tun Sie dem Nahen Osten und Israel den größten Gefallen.

 
  
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  Elena Valenciano (S&D). – Señora Presidenta, yo indudablemente quiero apoyar los esfuerzos de la Alta Representante en una gestión que es prácticamente imposible, entre otras cosas, porque los Estados miembros tienen opiniones muy divergentes con respecto a lo que hay que hacer en Cisjordania. Y sí me voy a centrar en Cisjordania, aunque no le guste al señor Preda y a algunos de sus colegas, porque lo que está pasando en Cisjordania es que Israel está destruyendo las casas de los palestinos. Y también está destruyendo gran parte de las edificaciones que están financiadas por la Unión Europea.

Aunque han sido declarados ilegales por muchísimos tribunales los asentamientos que produce Israel, y a pesar de la moratoria que la Unión Europea pidió en mayo, Israel ha seguido destruyendo instalación tras instalación. Y la Unión Europea sigue financiando la reconstrucción, de tal suerte que acabamos apoyando el statu quo que en este momento rige desgraciadamente en aquella región del mundo.

También está aumentando la confiscación de la asistencia humanitaria, que es ya el colmo. Todos sabemos, a pesar de lo que diga la extrema derecha de esta Cámara, que la única solución para la paz es la constitución de dos Estados, y lo que Israel está intentando es que el Estado palestino no sea viable nunca. Si el Estado palestino no es viable nunca, no habrá paz entre Israel y Palestina.

Esa es la verdad, y nosotros lo que tenemos que hacer es exigir a Israel, que efectivamente es una democracia, donde rige el Estado de Derecho, que cumpla con sus compromisos, también con los compromisos que adquiere con la Unión Europea.

Y, en todo caso, mi felicitación por el trabajo a la señora Mogherini.

 
  
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  Arne Gericke (ECR). – Frau Präsidentin, werte Hohe Vertreterin! Lage im Westjordanland und in den Siedlungen – schon diese Überschrift lässt Objektivität und Unabhängigkeit vermissen.

Der jüngste Quartett-Bericht der USA, der EU, der UNO und Russlands sagt sehr klar, dass man die Siedlungspolitik Israels nicht isoliert betrachten und verurteilen kann. Illegaler Waffenhandel terroristischer palästinensischer Gruppen, Terror und täglicher Raketenregen auf Israel, die Aufstachelung zum Hass – all das sind Fakten palästinensischer Aggression, die hier immer wieder ausgeblendet wird. Das ist nicht objektiv, das ist nicht zielführend.

Was tut die EU für Israels Sicherheit? So müssen wir die Siedlungspolitik Israels diskutieren, aber nie isoliert. Viele Verhandlungen, viele Bemühungen Israels enden seit Arafat immer wieder mit einem palästinensischen Nein. Meine heutige Bitte, Frau Mogherini: Seien Sie objektiv. Nur so wird Europa dem Nahen Osten zu neuem Frieden verhelfen.

 
  
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  Νεοκλής Συλικιώτης ( GUE/NGL). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, συζητάμε για τη Δυτική Όχθη και επιβεβαιώνουμε πως η κατάσταση γίνεται ολοένα και πιο απάνθρωπη. Έφοδοι των κατοχικών στρατευμάτων στα σπίτια, κατεδαφίσεις σχολείων και σπιτιών, επικράτηση της βίας των όπλων, επιθέσεις από 400.000 εποίκους εναντίον του παλαιστινιακού λαού, φυλακίσεις παιδιών, δολοφονίες και διωγμοί. Αυτή είναι η πραγματικότητα. Ενώ εμείς συζητάμε, οι έποικοι καταχρώνται τους φυσικούς πόρους στα παλαιστινιακά εδάφη προς ίδιο όφελος και καταπατούν τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα του παλαιστινιακού λαού.

Οι κατοχικές δυνάμεις, μόνο το 2016, κατέστρεψαν χίλιες οικοδομές των Παλαιστινίων, εκ των οποίων 158 χρηματοδοτήθηκαν από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Το Ισραήλ με τις εγκληματικές του ενέργειες αποδεικνύει πως στρέφεται ενάντια σε κάθε προσπάθεια της Ένωσης για στήριξη των Παλαιστινίων. Δεν αρκούν τα ευχολόγια για να επικρατήσει ειρήνη. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση πρέπει να ασκήσει πιέσεις προς το Ισραήλ για να τερματίσει τον εποικισμό, να άρει την κατοχή και να δεσμευτεί σε έναν οδικό χάρτη για την ειρήνη και τη δημιουργία δύο κρατών.

 
  
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  Tamás Meszerics (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I say to the Vice-President, allow me to a start with a quotation: ‘if you say you want two states, either you do something now or it is gone. We do not have a safety net or a plan B’. These are your words, Madam Vice-President, and roughly a year ago when they were spoken I fully agreed with them, and I agree with them even more now.

I also share the view that I would be very happy and very grateful for any glimmer of hope, namely for the most important actor, the Israeli government to show a basic commitment to the two-state solution, because there is no alternative in sight. But what we are seeing is actually a rise in construction in the West Bank, and it goes on at an increasing speed.

Between January and October, 158 EU- or Member State-funded structures were demolished, twice last year’s total. This is something which we should focus on, even if you take into consideration the full scope of the complexity.

 
  
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  Petr Mach (EFDD). – Madam President, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is complicated. I believe that we all want peace, but it takes two to tango and Palestinians simply refuse to negotiate with Israel on borders, on security and so on, and rather they attack it with rockets. The European Union cannot resolve this conflict in lieu of Palestinians and Jews. The EU should be impartial, but instead of that the EU patronises Palestinians and discriminates Jews.

Please respect that in the area of the West Bank, or Judea and Samaria as its historical name is, there are both Palestinians and Jews. Why can the Palestinians have free trade with the EU while the EU imposes high tariffs on EU goods? For this reason I have established a working group of friends of Judea and Samaria to establish fairness.

 
  
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  Marita Ulvskog (S&D). – Fru talman! När vi debatterade situationen på Västbanken här i kammaren i maj, kunde vi konstatera att det hade skett en märkbar förändring under 2016. Rivningarna av palestinska hem och av EU-finansierade biståndsprojekt på Västbanken ökade dramatiskt, samtidigt som expansionen av israeliska bosättningar fortsatte i oförminskad takt. Trots att EU redan då ställde krav på att Israel omedelbart skulle upphöra med rivningarna och medlemsstaterna till och med diskuterade krav på kompensation för de förstörda EU-finansierade biståndsprojekten, så har vi tyvärr inte sett någon förbättring av situationen.

Sedan i maj har istället, enligt uppgift, ytterligare 352 palestinska byggnader förstörts. Av dessa var 106 finansierade av europeiska biståndsgivare, och sammanlagt har över 3 400 palestinier drabbats av denna förstörelse. Det handlar heller inte bara om förstörelse. Min övertygelse är att för varje palestinskt hem som rivs urholkas möjligheterna till en varaktig fred. Vi urholkar möjligheten till att få en tvåstatslösning till stånd.

Detta betyder inte att vi på minsta vis kan ge efter eller ge upp, utan det är väldigt positivt att höra bilden av hoppet som ni beskrev, fru Mogherini, om hoppet som väcktes under Shimon Peres begravning. Låt oss ta fatt i det och göra politik av det! Vi måste se till att vi kommer tillbaka på spåret igen och kan se till att vi får en tvåstatslösning.

 
  
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  Pascal Durand (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, Madame Mogherini, au mois de mai, je vous avais illustré par une photo ce qui restait d'un village palestinien après le passage de l'armée israélienne. Je me permets aujourd'hui de compléter ma galerie en vous montrant ce qui reste d'une école et d'une aire de jeu qui ont été financées, respectivement, par la France et par la Belgique pendant le premier trimestre de l'année 2016.

Madame Mogherini, pendant combien de temps l'Union européenne va-t-elle continuer à regarder ailleurs pendant que le gouvernement de M. Netanyahu fait progresser non pas le processus de paix, mais l'accaparement des terres, les expulsions et l'attribution à des fins coloniales des ressources en eau?

Il est plus que temps que l'Union européenne se pose la question de savoir comment elle peut véritablement agir. Il n'y a là qu'une manière, qu'une seule méthode pour faire revenir M. Netanyahu et le gouvernement israélien aux tables de négociations, c'est de faire respecter la dignité du peuple palestinien en suspendant l'accord commercial privilégié qui lie l'Union européenne à l'État d'Israël.

 
  
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  Afzal Khan (S&D). – Madam President, Madam High Representative, virtually the whole world accepts and wants a two-state solution, yet this concept is vanishing before our eyes. Given the US election results, the EU has to be even more active on this front. The truth is that if Israel carries on this way, then the only option left would be a one-state solution. Would Israel then accept the democratic values that come as a result?

Israel needs to wake up and smell the coffee, and indeed so do we. Everyone wants to use the Palestinian cause for their own needs, including the extremists. This year, over 100 structures funded by the Commission and Member States have been demolished or confiscated, costing our taxpayers over EUR 400 000. What further diplomatic pressure will the High Representative put on Israel to change its current settlement policy? Will the EU implement the differentiation policy? Will you now heed the recommendations of the EU Head of Missions’ Reports on East Jerusalem and the West Bank? Ultimately, we need to revitalise the peace process – something we all agree on.

 
  
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  Pier Antonio Panzeri (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Alto rappresentante, sono trascorsi sei mesi da quando, in quest'Aula, lei ha chiesto giustamente una moratoria degli insediamenti israeliani. Da allora, Israele non ha solo continuato indisturbato l'espropriazione di terra alle comunità beduine, lo sfruttamento delle risorse naturali, la distruzione e la confisca di centinaia di strutture palestinesi ed europee, ma pochi giorni fa, come lei ha ricordato, la Knesset ha approvato, in via preliminare, un progetto di legge che legalizza tutti gli insediamenti israeliani nella Cisgiordania degli ultimi vent'anni, in violazione sia del diritto internazionale umanitario che dalla stessa legislazione israeliana.

Qui non siamo di fronte a un conflitto di religione né tanto meno a uno scontro di civiltà bensì a una potenza che opprime un popolo che de facto è senza Stato e senza diritti. Non denunciare tale situazione equivale ad esserne complici. Condivido quanto da lei detto ma proprio per queste ragioni, prima che gli insediamenti compromettano per sempre la possibilità di un accordo di pace tra due Stati e prima che l'amministrazione Trump decida di trasferire l'ambasciata americana a Gerusalemme, è necessario che l'Unione europea faccia pesare il proprio ruolo di principale partner economico della regione – e voglio sottolineare – usando tutti gli strumenti a disposizione e chiedendo le compensazioni necessarie per le demolizioni fatte a danno dei palestinesi e dei contribuenti europei.

 
  
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  Sergio Gaetano Cofferati (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Alto rappresentante, io condivido con Lei l'idea che soltanto l'Unione europea abbia in sé la forza politica e la credibilità per dare compiutezza all'idea di un'unità internazionale che porti al riconoscimento dei due Stati e, dunque, alla pace in quei territori.

Al di là di quella che sarà la politica estera del nuovo Presidente degli Stati Uniti, però, perché questo processo si avvii e perché il vostro lavoro abbia un ritorno positivo, credo sia indispensabile, nel brevissimo periodo, realizzare degli obiettivi: il primo è quello di fermare l'espansione delle demolizioni e delle colonie che sono state fatte. Il secondo è quello di chiedere un risarcimento, soprattutto dove sono coinvolti i progetti dell'Unione europea, utilizzando tutti gli strumenti che sono a disposizione dell'Unione europea stessa.

Senza un risultato concreto ravvicinato nel tempo, anche il tentativo nobilissimo di creare questa unità internazionale rischia di essere una buona intenzione che si infrange contro il muro eretto, questa volta politicamente, da parte di Israele.

 
  
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  Boris Zala (S&D). – Madam President, today the prospect of a two-state solution is further away than it has been for years. The social and economic situation in the West Bank is deteriorating. The legislation currently debated by the Israeli cabinet, which would legalise settlements in private for Palestinian territories, would be the final nail in the coffin for the two-state solution.

The EU must work to prevent it. However, it is increasingly clear that the EU, even when it does speak with one voice, has no leverage over Israeli policies. This is a challenge, but also an opportunity for EU foreign policy. The EU must be able to articulate its own plan and to assume strategic responsibility for it. In the Iran nuclear negotiations, the EU demonstrated its staying power: the ability to sustain a political process, even in the absence of immediate results. Our challenge now is similar: to keep the two-state solution alive.

 
  
 

„Catch the eye” eljárás

 
  
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  Dubravka Šuica (PPE). – Gospođo predsjednice, kao što je rekao predstavnik našeg Kluba pučana ova se situacija ne može promatrati izolirano od sveopće situacije na Bliskom istoku i stoga je naš klub imao stajalište da se ne razgovara samo o Zapadnoj obali i nasiljima, nego o svim ostalim problemima kao što su granice, migranti, problemi sigurnosti na Bliskom istoku.

Stoga smatramo da je glavno i jedino rješenje nastaviti mirovni proces, stvoriti političke preudvjete da se može nastaviti mirovni proces i smatramo da je to jedini izlaz. A jedini izlaz su izravni pregovori između Izraela i Palestine, što znači da je potez na Izraelu, ali i na nama kao EU-u imajući u vidu opću situaciju u svijetu, rastuću ulogu Rusije, nove okolnosti u SAD-u i očekujemo da se sukladno tome i mi pozicioniramo.

Nemojte zaboraviti izjave g. Netanyahua od prije nekoliko dana koji je upozorio svoje ministre da ne trijumfiraju nad novim odnosima i u novoj situaciji oko Trumpove pobjede. Dakle, ovdje treba pristupiti balansirano.

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Madam President, it would be very important to underline here in this amphitheatre that the Israeli Government declared on many occasions that it is eager to discuss in direct peace talks any issue in dispute, including the settlements, as agreed upon with the Palestinians in the framework of the Oslo Accords. As declared, Israelis are committed to achieve peace with all their neighbours, including the Palestinians. We should remember there were a number of proposals made by Israel since 1967, like in 2000 in Camp David, in 2001 in Taba and in 2008 by the then-Israeli Prime Minister, considering that Israel could make territorial compromises. It goes without saying that Israel has a right to live in peace without terrorist threats and attacks coming from a terrorist entity on its southern border that calls for Israel’s destruction. As well, we have to emphasise the fact of the right of the Palestinians to live in peace and security. Last but not least, the settlements are indeed a standing issue to be negotiated together with other disputed issues.

 
  
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  Marek Jurek (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Wszyscy doskonale wiemy z historii, że kiedy państwo Izrael miało wybór między pokojem a istnieniem osiedli, wybierało pokój. Tak było na Synaju po zawarciu pokoju z Egiptem, tak było w Gazie. Jednocześnie wszyscy doskonale wiemy, że za każdym razem, kiedy ruch palestyński liczył na to, że terror będzie narzędziem skutecznej presji, terror się wzmagał. I wiemy również, że za każdym razem, kiedy ruch palestyński liczył na presję międzynarodową, powstrzymywał się od rozmów pokojowych. Jeżeli naprawdę chcemy pokoju na Ziemi Świętej, jeżeli naprawdę chcemy, żeby perspektywa rozwiązania dwupaństwowego pozostała aktualna, powinniśmy wstrzymać się od jakiegokolwiek angażowania się w ten konflikt w celu wspierania strony palestyńskiej odmawiającej uznania państwa Izrael. To jest jedyna droga do pokoju.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE). – Señora Presidenta, Israel incumple la legislación internacional sobre asentamientos, lo hace con el desparpajo que propicia la impunidad. Van a burlar ahora el mandato de su propia Corte Suprema, incumpliendo el desalojo obligatorio del asentamiento de Amona con una reforma legal que no tiene encaje ni en el Derecho local ni el internacional. Quieren, además, que la nueva Administración Trump les apoye a cambio de paralizar nuevos asentamientos. Estamos ante un acto ilegal, un abuso de poder, una imposición injustificable, una medida que insiste en políticas que solo han generado dolor, violencia e inestabilidad en Cisjordania.

Esta nueva imposición ilegal de Israel alimenta el conflicto y nos aleja de la paz. Y nuestra Unión debe impulsar un procedimiento inmediato y contundente de la comunidad internacional que se traduzca en medidas concretas que obliguen a Israel a reparar esta nueva vulneración de la legalidad internacional y de los derechos fundamentales de miles de personas.

Espero que nuestra próxima Resolución sobre la situación de Cisjordania, más que incluir condenas rituales, se centre en este objetivo.

 
  
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  Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL). – Senhora Presidente, perante a conivência dos Estados Unidos e da União Europeia, o Governo de Israel, à revelia do direito internacional, vai retalhando o território da Cisjordânia, tomando posse das melhores terras agrícolas, das reservas de água e construindo um muro de separação que inferniza a vida das populações palestinianas e torna inviável a concretização de um Estado palestino.

Os justos protestos das populações palestinianas são reprimidos de forma bárbara, atingindo, de forma cruel, mulheres e crianças, tudo acompanhado de uma hábil propaganda que visa confundir a opinião pública, misturando deliberadamente questões de segurança e terrorismo.

A paz no Médio Oriente e na Palestina depende apenas da vontade política das principais potências ocidentais. Só com o fim do apoio económico e militar a Israel será possível voltar às negociações políticas e pôr em prática as resoluções da ONU, que impõem uma solução de um Estado palestino, com capital em Jerusalém, e a devolução de todos os colonatos ocupados ilegalmente.

 
  
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  Σωτήριος Ζαριανόπουλος ( NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η ισραηλινή κυβέρνηση ακολουθώντας μια νεότερη εκδοχή πολιτικής απαρτχάιντ κατά των Παλαιστινίων πολλαπλασιάζει ανενόχλητα τους εποικισμούς των παλαιστινιακών εδαφών. Στερεί χιλιάδες Παλαιστίνιους από την πατρογονική τους γη, τις καλλιέργειες, ακόμα και το νερό τους, κάθε μέσο επιβίωσης τους. Στήνει φράχτες και τείχη παντού. Φυλακίζει χωρίς δίκη και δολοφονεί. Χρόνια τώρα μεθοδεύει τον ξεριζωμό όσων Παλαιστίνιων απέμειναν στα εδάφη τους στη Δυτική Όχθη και στραγγαλίζει τη Γάζα.

Επιτέλους πώς μπορεί ένα κράτος να παραβιάζει ανενόχλητο επί δεκαετίες τα πιο θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα ενός λαού; Με τις πλάτες των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών, του ΝΑΤΟ, της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και των κρατών μελών της, όπως και της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης, με εμπορικές και στρατιωτικές συμφωνίες που τους έχουν απονείμει τον ρόλο του χωροφύλακα του ιμπεριαλισμού στην κρίσιμη μεσανατολική περιοχή της ενέργειας και των αγωγών. Έχουν την ίδια εγκληματική ευθύνη όλοι αυτοί με την αντιδραστική ισραηλινή κυβέρνηση.

Η απάντηση των λαών πρέπει να είναι: αλληλεγγύη στον παλαιστινιακό λαό για ανεξάρτητο βιώσιμο παλαιστινιακό κράτος στα όρια του 1967, με πρωτεύουσα την Ανατολική Ιερουσαλήμ, κατεδάφιση των εποικισμών και απελευθέρωση των κρατούμενων.

(Η Πρόεδρος διακόπτει τον ομιλητή)

 
  
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  Olga Sehnalová (S&D). – Minulý týden proběhlo v Bruselu 42. meziparlamentní setkání delegací EP a izraelského Knesetu. Měla jsem tu čest tomuto setkání z velké části předsedat.

Proběhla zde otevřená výměna názorů, při které měli přítomní poslanci obou parlamentů dostatečný prostor pro otázky i obšírné odpovědi na různá témata včetně těch, na které existují rozdílné pohledy, jako je např. výstavba osad na okupovaných územích, ale také na otázky bezpečnosti, terorizmu, pokračování mírového procesu, budování důvěry a vzájemné spolupráce. Legitimní otázky padaly oběma směry.

Debata se nesla v duchu zájmu o pochopení situace na místě samém v terénu. To považuji za základ a jsem přesvědčená, že tento přístup by měl být vlastní všem debatám na parlamentní půdě.

 
  
 

(A „catch the eye” eljárás vége)

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, I would like to thank you all for this debate, which was, as always, very open and frank. It is not the first time we have debated the situation in the West Bank although it is, I believe, the first time we have done so with a specific focus on settlements.

I have noted that this is an issue on which, sometimes, we have more unity among the Member States than we do in this Chamber, which is perfectly fine and normal for me. Be sure that our work on the two—state solution and all its implications is – and remains – a top priority for me and for the European institutions.

On a personal note, I will add a comment – which I remember I have made already in this Chamber in one of our recent debates on the Middle East and on Israel—Palestine in particular – namely that I sometimes note, with a certain degree of embarrassment, that some Members of Parliament, and sometimes the most vocal and the most convinced in asking that this issue should remain our number one priority, are, for as long as they are speaking, extremely convinced that it is a top priority, yet as soon as they switch off their microphones they leave the room. Once again, there are not so many of us here to discuss this. So, please, if you really believe that this is the number one priority, and you say the European Union should be consistent, then at least spend these 15 minutes in the Chamber and demonstrate with your actions what you say.

I am sorry, but this is, for me, a matter of personal consistency. I am sure we will have other occasions to discuss this, and I hope that, next time at least, those who are asking me to do more will at least stay in the Chamber for the entire debate – which is not asking too much, at the end of the day. Obviously I very much appreciate those of you who have stayed.

Firstly, we are working very actively with the regional powers and with the international players. Some of you referred to the fact that the next US administration might have a different approach to this issue, which will place on our shoulders – and is already placing on our shoulders – a responsibility even greater than that which we have borne in the past. We are fully exploring these possibilities, but with an approach based on working with the parties in Israel and in Palestine and working with the regional powers.

Here again. we are giving this issue more attention than some of the regional powers are at the moment, as they are distracted by other crises. Sometimes – I will tell you very openly – I feel that we, as Europeans, are the ones who are working more convincingly on this. It is constantly on our agenda, both in the Council and here in Parliament. I realise that this is no longer always the case for other partners around the world, and that is why I put such emphasis on the need for us to build, preserve and nourish regional and international unity on this, because the European Union is a key player here in terms of working with Israel and working with Palestine.

However, this will not be something we manage to do alone. We will need, especially, the Arab countries, particularly around the Arab Peace Initiative and the Arab League. That is why I am glad that this is going to be one of the issues we discuss at our EU—Arab League ministerial summit in December. We need to build the common vision and common action in the region and in the international community.

There is a lot that you can do. I appreciate – and I took note of – all the suggestions about what I can do on my side, both on the Commission side and on the Council side. But let me stress that you, as Members of Parliament, do have power and a role, if you play it, because the European Parliament is part of the European Union and its institutions.

I appreciate, in particular, what Ms Sehnalová mentioned about the meeting with the Knesset Members. Your parliamentary contacts with the Knesset are particularly important with a view to passing a message and working to create space for political decisions to be taken on the Israeli side. The same can go for the Palestinian side. For instance, an issue that is particularly important to me – so much so that I focused most of my introductory remarks on it, and I noticed some of you have also underscored it – is that of the decisions the Knesset is taking at this moment, in these weeks, with the preliminary indication that has already been passed and the decisions still to be finalised.

This is the time for Members of the European Parliament to liaise with, and reach out to, Members of Knesset and to pass on your own vision of what is happening, establishing contacts in a constructive and frank working relationship. Parliamentary diplomacy can help a great deal and complement the work we can do at our level.

This is encouragement for those of you already doing this, and also a plea for you to think about what you can do yourselves. We would be more than glad to coordinate and work together, as we often do in this respect because, again, there are key moments – and I believe this is one of them – when the decision—making process is still open and decisive messages can be heard.

I would like to make one last point, which was not raised in the debate tonight although I am convinced that it is a key element today more than in the past, namely that we should focus our actions especially on supporting the conditions for peace in the respective societies in Israel and Palestine.

In particular, investing in the peace camps on both sides is something that is becoming quite urgent because the old generation is the one that was living in the days of the Oslo process, while the young generation has grown up with the despair of seeing Oslo not implemented. I believe that specific work that the European Union could do – fruitfully and in a very positive manner – would be to invest in the younger generations, on both the Israeli and the Palestinian sides, to work for constituencies for peace on both sides. At the end of the day, we will need such a basis if we want to create the right conditions.

Thank you very much for all your contributions and our exchanges, which I always enjoy hearing. I am sure that we will come back to this debate soon. Again, work on my side personally continues. I invite you also to take some steps on parliamentary diplomacy, especially at the present time when decision—making in the Knesset, especially in relation to settlement legislation, is open. I think you can effectively contribute to our work in the weeks ahead.

 
  
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  Elnök asszony. – A vitát lezárom.

Tájékoztatom Önöket, hogy az állásfoglalásról szóló szavazásra egy későbbi plenáris ülésen kerül sor.

Írásbeli nyilatkozatok (162. cikk)

 
  
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  Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (PPE), in writing. – The international community agreed on the two-state solution at the Oslo Accords and the Israeli Government and the Palestinian leadership should continue negotiations on this main objective in direct peace, even though there might be issues in dispute, such as the settlements, as agreed upon between Israelis and Palestinians in the framework of the abovementioned Accords. The settlements are indeed a standing issue to be negotiated, but together with other disputed issues, such as the final borders, security arrangements and the status of refugees from both sides. I strongly believe that peace is achievable if both sides are willing to talk to each other and if both sides are willing to make the sacrifices necessary for peace. In this matter, the European Union should play a stronger role in supporting the conditions for peace.

 
Last updated: 9 June 2017Legal notice