Procedure : 2012/2694(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B7-0376/2012

Texts tabled :

B7-0376/2012

Debates :

Votes :

PV 05/07/2012 - 13.5

Texts adopted :


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 147kWORD 84k
See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0373/2012
27.6.2012
PE491.991v01-00
 
B7-0376/2012

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 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure


on the EU policy on the West Bank and East Jerusalem (2012/2964(RSP))


Kyriacos Triantaphyllides, Patrick Le Hyaric, Willy Meyer, Nikolaos Chountis, Jacky Hénin, João Ferreira, Sabine Lösing on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on the EU policy on the West Bank and East Jerusalem (2012/2964(RSP))  
B7‑0376/2012

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

–   having regard to pertinent UN resolutions, in particular UN General Assembly resolution 181 (1947) and UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 252 (1968), 338 (1973), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008),

–   having regard to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949,

–   having regard to the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on ‘Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory’ of 9 July 2004,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions, in particular that of 29 September 2011 on the situation in Palestine and of 10 September 2010 on the situation of the Jordan River with special regard to the Lower Jordan River area,

–   having regard to the Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process of 14 May 2012, 18 July and 23 May 2011, and 8 December 2009,

–   having regard to the speech on the latest developments in the Middle East and Syria of VPC/HR Catherine Ashton at the plenary session of the European Parliament of 12 June 2012,

–   having regard to the statements of VPC/HR Catherine Ashton, in particular that on settlement expansion of 8 June 2012, on the decision of the Israeli authorities regarding the status of the settlements of Sansana, Rechelim and Bruchin in the occupied Palestinian territory of 25 April 2012, and on Israeli settlement approvals of 22 February 2012,

–   having regard to the EU Heads of Mission report on East Jerusalem of January 2012,

–   having regard to the EU Heads of Mission report ‘Area C and Palestinian State Building’ of July 2011,

–   having regard to the two-year state building plan ‘Ending the occupation, establishing a state’ of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad of August 2009,

–   having regard to the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip of 18 September 1995,

–   having regard to the Oslo Accords (‘Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements’) of 13 September 1993,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the West Bank and East Jerusalem, together with the Gaza Strip, are occupied territories; whereas international humanitarian law including the Fourth Geneva Convention is fully applicable to these territories; whereas Israel as an occupying power is obliged, inter alia, to ensure in good faith that the basic needs of the occupied Palestinian population are met, administer its occupation in a manner that benefits the local population, protect and preserve civilian objects, and avoid the transfer of its own population into the occupied territory as well as of the population of the occupied territory into its own territory;

B.  whereas the inalienable right of Palestinians for self-determination and to have their own state is unquestionable as is the right of Israel to exist within safe borders; supporting the aspirations of the Palestinian people for statehood and those of both Israelis and Palestinians for development in a secure environment is a crucial element for lasting peace, stability and prosperity in the region’;

C. whereas Israeli settlements are illegal under International Law and constitute a major obstacle to peace efforts; whereas the Israeli government-planned and led settlement building and expansion constitutes a significant threat to the viability of the two-state solution, as is also stated in the recent EU Heads of Mission reports on ‘Area C and Palestinian State Building’ and on East Jerusalem, both leaked to the press;

D. whereas the ongoing expansion of illegal settlements and settler violence, planning restrictions and the consequent acute house shortage, house demolitions, evictions and displacements, confiscation of land, difficult access to water and other natural resources, the lack of basic social services and assistance etc. have a significant negative effect on the living conditions of Palestinians in the West Bank, with special regard to Area C, and in East Jerusalem; whereas the economic situation in these areas, aggravated by the restrictions on access, movement and planning, remains a major source of concern;

E.  whereas according to the annual ILO report 53,5% of young women and 32,3,% of young men between the ages of 15 and 24 in the West Bank are unemployed, mainly due to conditions imposed by the occupation;

F.  whereas the Oslo Accords of 1993 divided up the territory of the West Bank into three zones: Areas A, B, and C; whereas Area C, under Israeli civil and security control, constitutes 62% of the territory of, and is the only contiguous area with most of the fertile and resource-rich land in the West Bank; whereas the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip of 1995 declared that Area C would be gradually transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction, which has not taken place;

G. whereas Palestinian presence in Area C has been undermined by Israeli government policies; whereas, as a result of these policies, only 5.8% of the Palestinian population in the West Bank is living in Area C while the number of Israeli settlers, estimated to 310.000, is more than double the estimated number of the Palestinian population in Area C; whereas, therefore, protecting the Palestinian population and its rights in Area C is of the utmost importance for preserving the viability of the two-state solution;

H. whereas Israel, in its ‘Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel’ of 1980, against International Law declared Jerusalem the ‘complete and united capital of Israel’; whereas UN Security Council resolution 478 (1980) determined that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, as an occupying power, which had altered or purported to alter the character and status of Jerusalem, and in particular the Basic Law, were null and void and must be rescinded forthwith; whereas the Council conclusions of 14 May 2012 reiterated again that a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of two states;

I.   whereas current developments in East Jerusalem, as also underlined in the EU Heads of Mission report, make the prospect of Jerusalem becoming the future capital of two states increasingly unlikely and unworkable, undermining the two-state solution; whereas East Jerusalem is increasingly detached from the West Bank while the Historic Basin within Jerusalem is increasingly detached from the rest of East Jerusalem, with Palestinians living in the neighbourhoods like Silwan and Sheikh Jarrah being under permanent threat of eviction and expropriation;

J.   whereas the contiguity of land is seriously dismantled further by the construction of roads for the exclusive use of the settlers that further divide the Palestinian land and deprive the occupied population access to their land, water and other resources and neighbouring communities, seriously affecting their daily life;

K. whereas, while Palestinians living in East Jerusalem represent 37% of the population of Jerusalem and account for 36% of the municipality’s fiscal revenues, only 10% of the municipal budget is spent in East Jerusalem with the provision of services being highly inadequate; whereas most Palestinian institutions, including the Orient House, has been closed by Israeli authorities in East Jerusalem, creating an institutional and leadership vacuum in the local Palestinian population, which remains a key concern; whereas the Israeli authorities pursue politics and tactics aimed at erasing the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, such as the exiling of PLC members from Jerusalem;

L.  whereas Palestinians living in East Jerusalem have the status of permanent resident, which can only be transferred to children under certain condition and is not automatically transferred through marriage, preventing spouses and children of many East Jerusalem permanent residents from living together with their family members; whereas, on the other hand, approximately 200 000 Israeli settlers are living in and around East Jerusalem;

M. whereas Palestinian presence in Area C and in East Jerusalem has been undermined by Israeli government policies; whereas a key element of these policies is the building and expansion of settlements; whereas Israeli settlements are illegal under international law and constitute a major obstacle to peace efforts while they are subsidized by the Israeli government with considerable incentives in the fields of taxation, housing, infrastructure, roads, access to water, education, health care etc.; whereas the year 2011 witnessed the greatest expansion of settlements in the Jerusalem area since 1967; whereas settler violence and harassment against Palestinian civilians, under Israeli military protection, resulted in serious incidents and fatal injuries; whereas, in lack of an effective EU control mechanism, Israeli settlement products continue to be imported to the European market under preferential regime;

N. whereas the separation wall built by Israel, which does not follow the Green Line, cuts off a considerable part of Palestinian territory both in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem and separates communities and families, children from their schools, adults from their economic activity; whereas the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on ‘Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory’ of 2004 declared that ‘The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated régime, are contrary to international law’;

O. whereas Article 2 of the EU Israel Association Agreement, which states that the relationship between the EU and Israel will be based on respect for human rights and democratic principles which guide their internal and external policies as an essential element of the Agreement;

P.  whereas more than 4000 Palestinian prisoners, among them women and children and some detained for more than 20 years, including 27 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, and more than 300 Palestinian administrative detainees continue to be held in Israeli prisons and detention centres;

Q. whereas the Palestinian population in the West Bank, in Area C in particular, and in East Jerusalem faces serious water shortages; whereas Palestinian farmers are seriously affected by the lack of water for irrigation, which stems from the use of most of the water in question by Israel and by Israeli settlers; whereas the availability of sufficient water resources is essential to the viability of a future Palestinian State;

R.  whereas the blockade of and the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip continues despite numerous calls made by the international community for the immediate, sustained and unconditional opening of crossings for the flow of humanitarian aid, commercial goods and persons to and from Gaza, as also reiterated in the Council conclusions of 14 May 2012;

S.  whereas Arab Bedouins are an indigenous people leading a sedentary and traditionally agricultural life on their ancestral lands and are seeking formal and permanent recognition of their unique situation and status; whereas Arab Bedouins, threatened by Israeli policies undermining their livelihoods and including forced transfer, are a particularly vulnerable population both in the occupied Palestinian Territory and in the Negev (Naqab; whereas the Israeli army decided to start the issuing of demolition orders against the Jahalin community (2300 people, 2/3 of whom are children) in the Ma’ale Adumim settlement bloc possibly leading to the destruction of more than 90 per cent of homes and other structures, including two schools in Khan al-Ahmar and in Wadi Abu Hindi, that serve around 200 Jahalin children, thus so effectively cutting them off from the education system; whereas the Israeli plan is to delocalize the community to an area only 300 meters away from the rubbish dump near the Palestinian town of Abu Dis;

T.  whereas the European Union is the largest donor to the Palestinian Authority; whereas the humanitarian and development aid provided by the international community, and the EU and its Member States in particular, does not relieve Israel as an occupying power of its obligations under international law; whereas more than 60 projects financed by the EU or its Member States were damaged or destroyed by Israeli forces since January 2011 and more than 100 similar projects are under threat of demolition;

U. whereas the European Parliament has repeatedly expressed its support for the two-state solution with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security, called for the resumption of direct peace talks between the parties, and declared that no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties shall be recognised;

1.  Reiterates again its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as capital of both states, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security; welcomes the Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process of 14 May 2012, reiterating that the EU will not recognize any changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties and calls on the EU to proceed to the immediate recognition of an independent Palestinian state;

2.  Stresses again that Israeli settlements in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem are illegal under international law; calls for an immediate, complete and permanent freeze of all Israeli settlement construction and expansion activities, which alter the facts on the ground and alters the demography hence constitutes a major threat to the viability of the two-state solution, as well as for the dismantling of all outposts erected since March 2001; welcomes and fully supports paragraphs 6 and 7 of the Council conclusions of 14 May 2012 focusing on the questions of settlements, East Jerusalem, and Area C; asks that these Israeli violations are raised at the highest political level, including the EU-Israel Association Council meetings;

3.  Stresses the importance of protecting the Palestinian population and its rights in Area C and in East Jerusalem, demanded as a respect of International law and International Humanitarian Law, which is essential for keeping the viability of the two-state solution alive;

4.  Condemns strongly all acts of settler extremism, violence and harassment against Palestinian civilians and calls on the Israeli government and authorities to withdraw them, stop protecting them and bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice and to hold them accountable, as the lack of accountability creates impunity;

5.  Reiterates its call for the immediately, sustained and unconditional lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip and for steps allowing for the reconstruction and economic recovery of this area; stresses the urgency for re-establishing the political and communication link between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank;

6.  Calls for an immediate, complete and permanent freeze of the EU-Israel Association Agreement in conformity to Article 2; calls on the Commission and Council to ensure that a similar safeguard clause and mechanism is included in the rule of participation of HORIZON 2020 (successor of FP7); expresses its total opposition to Israel’s participation in EDA programmes and military projects; calls on Member States to comply with the provisions of the EU Common Position on arms trade,( which provides that an importing country’s compliance with International Humanitarian Law should be considered before licenses to exhort to that country are granted);

7.  Calls for a full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation to existing EU-Israel bilateral agreements as well as for the establishment by the Commission of an adequate and effective EU control mechanism in order to avoid that Israeli settlement products are imported to the European market under preferential regime; asks member states to enforce correct and proper labelling;

8.  Calls on the Israeli government and authorities to meet their obligations as an occupying power in particular by

–   an immediate end to house demolitions, evictions, and forced displacement of Palestinians,

–   facilitating Palestinian planning and building activities as well as the implementation of Palestinian developments projects,

–   facilitating access and movement,

–   stopping the prohibition of family reunifications in East Jerusalem;

–   ceasing immediately confiscating Palestinian land in Area C for settlement and other construction,

–   facilitating the access of Palestinians to farming and grazing locations,

–   ensuring a fair distribution of water meeting the needs of the Palestinian population,

–   improving access of the Palestinian population to adequate social services and assistance, in particular in the fields of education (sufficient schools) and public health, and

–   facilitating humanitarian operations in Area C and in East Jerusalem;

9.  Calls for the reopening of Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem, with special regard to the Orient House;

10. Calls for an end to the practice of administrative detention of Palestinians by Israeli authorities as well as for the immediate release of Palestinian political prisoners and administrative detainees;

11. Calls for the protection of the Arab Bedouin population living in the occupied Palestinian Territory and in the Negev (Naqab); calls for an immediate end to any forced displacement, dispossession or demolition against this population and for the improvement of their living conditions by providing them adequate services on their ancestral lands; calls, in this context, for the withdrawal of the Prawer Plan by the Israeli government;

12. Stresses again the urgency to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians; calls on Israel to hold immediately settlement activity in order to allow the resumption of direct peace talks between the two parties;

13. Continues to support the policy of non-violent resistance of President Abbas and to encourage intra-Palestinian reconciliation and Palestinian state-building with presidential and parliamentary elections being important elements of this process;

14. Calls on the Council and the Commission to continue to support and deliver assistance to Palestinian institutions and development projects in Area C and in East Jerusalem with the aim of protecting and strengthening the Palestinian population; calls also for holding Israel financially accountable for the demolition of projects funded by the EU and its Member States in the occupied Palestinian Territory; stresses that pressure should be brought on Israel to put an end to withholding the customs and tax revenues belonging to the Palestinian Authority;

15. Calls on the Commission and Council to demand from Israeli authorities to implement in its entirety the UN Children’s Rights Convention (1990) for Palestinian children both in Israel as well as in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, with special emphasis on Article 37 regarding punishment, arrest and detention of children;

16. Calls on all Members of the European Parliament and Members of National Parliaments to raise with their Knesset colleagues the issues of Israeli violations committee in the occupied Palestinian territories;

17. Urges again the EU and Member States to play a more active political role, in the efforts aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians;

18. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the EU Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process, the Middle East Quartet Envoy, the Knesset and the Government of Israel, the President of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Last updated: 28 June 2012Legal notice