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Document selected : B8-0112/2014

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OJ 18/09/2014 - 46

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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 Israel-Palestine after the Gaza war and the role of the EU (2014/2845(RSP))

Martina Anderson, Neoklis Sylikiotis, Patrick Le Hyaric, Ángela Vallina, Teresa Rodriguez-Rubio, Younous Omarjee, Miguel Viegas, Marisa Matias, Pablo Iglesias, Lola Sánchez Caldentey, Malin Björk, Merja Kyllönen, Marie-Christine Vergiat, João Ferreira, Inês Cristina Zuber, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Sofia Sakorafa, Lynn Boylan, Matt Carthy, Liadh Ní Riada, Kostadinka Kuneva, Iosu Juaristi Abaunz, Javier Couso Permuy, Marina Albiol Guzmán, Paloma López, Kostas Chrysogonos, Takis Hadjigeorgiou, Kateřina Konečná, Lidia Senra Rodríguez, Emmanouil Glezos, Eleonora Forenza on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

European Parliament resolution on Israel-Palestine after the Gaza war and the role of the EU (2014/2845(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,

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

–       having regard to the daily UNRWA situation reports,

–       having regard to UN General Assembly resolution 194 (1948), and UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 252 (1968), 338 (1972), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), and 1860 (2009),

–       having regard to the EU-Israel Association Agreement, signed on 20 November 1995, and which entered into force on 1 June 2000, and more particularly Article 2 thereof,

–       having regard to the ‘Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards’,

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

–       having regard to the Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process of 30 August 2014, 16 December 2013, 14 May 2012, 18 July and 23 May 2011, and 8 December 2009,

–       having regard to the EU Heads of Mission reports on East Jerusalem of January 2012 and on ‘Area C and Palestinian State Building’ of July 2011, and the EU Heads of Mission report on settler violence of April 2011 and the accompanying EU Heads of Mission note on settler violence of February 2012,

–       having regard to its resolution of 5 July 2012 on EU policy on the West Bank and East Jerusalem(1),

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

A.     whereas on 7 July 2014 Israel launched a military aggression against Gaza called ‘Protective Edge’, which lasted 50 days and stopped when a ceasefire agreement was implemented on 26 August;

B.     whereas as a result of the Israeli aggression, at least 2 150 Palestinians were killed, among them 503 children (27 %), 260 women, 95 elderly people and 14 journalists, and more than 12 500 injured; whereas a very large number of the injured suffered amputations and extensive injuries, suspected to have been caused by prohibited weapons, including DIMEs (Dense Inert Metal Explosive); whereas 450 000 people were internally displaced, with 65 700 still taking refuge in UNRWA schools; whereas the population requires psycho-social treatment and support as a matter of urgency, in addition to humanitarian and medical aid; whereas 1 400 children have lost both their parents;

C.     whereas according to UNRWA and organisations on the ground, the level of destruction is only comparable to the destruction of cities in the Second World War; whereas over 1 700 homes have been completely or partially destroyed and 40 000 others damaged, 17 hospitals and health care clinics destroyed and 136 UNRWA schools damaged, 60 mosques and 13 cemeteries (12 Muslim and 1 Christian) destroyed as a result of the relentless attacks with missiles and bombs launched from both the air and the sea by the Israeli army; whereas water and electricity supply, sewage-water treatment plants, roads, and the whole infrastructure are badly affected to the degree that the shortages are having a detrimental effect on the health and life of the people in Gaza; whereas UNRWA estimates that it may take 20 years to restore Gaza to its former state prior to the latest aggression; whereas many EU-funded projects were destroyed during this aggression, as well as during previous Israeli aggressions on Gaza; whereas drones have been used in these military operations;

D.     whereas according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), about 42 000 acres of cropland have sustained substantial direct damage and half of Gaza’s poultry stock has been lost due to direct hits or lack of care due to the reduced access to farmlands in border areas; whereas Gaza’s fishermen have seen their annual catch reduced by almost 10 %; whereas at least 360 factories and workshops have been damaged, including 126 that were completely wrecked, amounting to USD 47 million in damages; whereas the Palestinian Federation of Industries estimates a USD 70 million loss due to the halting of production during the aggression;

E.     whereas this was the third similar military aggression on Gaza following the 2008-2009 ‘Cast Lead’ and the November 2012 ‘Pillar of Defence’, that left around 3 000 Palestinians dead and hundreds injured, and caused extensive material destruction, leaving behind a humanitarian catastrophe;

F.     whereas Israel has applied a total land-air-sea blockade on Gaza since 2007, which has turned this 365 km2 area into an open-air prison where 1.7 million people, 1.2 million of them refugees, live in extreme humanitarian conditions which were greatly exacerbated by the 50-day onslaught;

G.     whereas Israel has refused entrance to Gaza to 13 Members of the European Parliament, who were on the ground to assess the dimensions of the destruction and the humanitarian situation so as to inform and press for the increase in EU aid to UNRWA and to the Palestinian Authorities, which is badly needed to meet the urgent requirements;

H.     whereas over the same period, Israeli forces carried out over 1 500 military raids in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, detained over 1 700 Palestinians, among them Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), demolished at least 50 Palestinian-owned structures, 8 of them in occupied East Jerusalem, displacing 112 Palestinians, and at least 250 settler attacks were reported; whereas during the first two weeks in September, i.e. after a ceasefire was agreed, Israel detained 300 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; whereas the Israeli Government is mounting religious tensions in East Jerusalem, for example by adopting a law permitting Jews access to the Al Aqsa Mosque;

I.      whereas construction has continued in most of the illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine, and since June 2014, 1 472 more settlement units have been approved, making room for almost 6 000 new Israeli settlers, and more land has been confiscated, the latest incident involving 170 hectares of agricultural land south of Bethlehem for the construction of 2 500 housing units for settlers;

J.      whereas 34 PLC members are imprisoned, 32 of them in administrative detention; whereas PLC Member Khalida Jarrar is threated with deportation from Ramallah, which is her constituency, to Jericho; whereas this is the first case of threatened deportation from Area A to Area A, i.e. from and to an area under the control of the Palestinian Authority according to the Oslo Agreements;

K.     whereas these events followed the announcement of the agreement between Palestinian parties to form a consensus government overcoming the division existing since 2007; whereas this was one of the conditions set in the peace talks led by the US in the past year; whereas this announcement was met by vehement statements of the Israeli Prime Minister, denouncing it; whereas the consensus government recognised the UN resolutions, the Oslo Agreement and the Quartet decisions; whereas its creation was welcomed by the UN, the US, the EU and the Quartet;

L.     whereas 20 years after the Oslo Agreements and the non-implementation of these by Israel, the Palestinians no longer have any trust in negotiations;

M.    whereas the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting of 16 December 2013 stated among other things that: ‘The EU warns against actions that undermine the negotiations. In this regard, it deplores Israel’s continuous expansion of settlements, which are illegal under international law and constitute an obstacle to peace. The Council also expresses its grave concern regarding incitement, incidents of violence in the occupied territory, house demolitions and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza. The EU expresses its serious concern about actions that undermine the status quo of the holy sites, including in Jerusalem. The European Union will continue to closely monitor the situation and its broader implications and act accordingly’;

N.     whereas the European Council of 30 August 2014 noted that ‘only a final agreement based on the two-State solution will bring durable peace and stability. The European Council therefore encourages both parties to re-engage in negotiations to this end. The Gaza strip shall be part of a future State of Palestine.’;

O.     whereas on 19 July 2013, the EU issued ‘Guidelines on the eligibility of Israeli entities and their activities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967 for grants, prizes and financial instruments funded by the EU from 2014 onwards’ (2013/C 203/05);

P.     whereas Israel continues to ignore the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice entitled ‘Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territories’ of 9 July 2004;

1.      Strongly denounces the Israeli military aggression on Gaza, the violations of international and humanitarian law, the use of banned and new weapons, and of drones, and of weapons the use of which is banned in densely populated areas;

2.      Expresses its condolences to the families of the Palestinian victims, who number over 2 100;

3.      Expresses its recognition of the immense importance of the work carried out by UNRWA and all its staff during and after the 50-day aggression; expresses its condolences to UNRWA and the families of the 12 staff members killed during the aggression; calls on the EU and international donors to significantly increase their support to cover the increased immediate needs of the affected population, which UNRWA has to meet;

4.      Supports efforts to reach an agreement on a lasting and fully respected ceasefire that should be guaranteed by a mechanism to be set up by the international community, including a peacekeeping mission under the UN and the end of the siege; believes that this should put an end to the killing and suffering of the Palestinian people enclaved in the Gaza strip since 2007; demands an immediate end to the siege of Gaza, and immediate and unobstructed access to humanitarian aid, particularly to cover urgent medical needs, and to construction material urgently needed for reconstruction; considers that the provision of electricity from any sought source should not be obstructed by Israel, which would also allow the supply of water;

5.      Demands the release of the 34 legally elected PLC members, as well as of all 7 000 Palestinian political prisoners; demands the revocation of the deportation order against PLC member Khalida Jarrar;

6.      Deplores the denial of entry to Gaza to Members of the European Parliament;

7.      Resolves to send a fact-finding mission to Gaza to witness first-hand the dimensions of the destruction, the needs of the population as regards humanitarian aid, water and electricity, and the situation of the hospitals, schools and infrastructure; considers that Parliament should convey to the Israeli Authorities that it considers another refusal of entry to Gaza to MEPs unacceptable;

8.      Calls for an international committee to be constituted to investigate the war crimes committed during the Israeli aggression;

9.      Extends its support to the Israeli political parties, movements and people standing up against the Israeli aggression and calling for a peaceful solution; is particularly concerned about the deterioration of freedom of speech and the rise of extreme-right-wing forces in Israel; raises the alarm regarding increased discrimination against the Palestinian population who are Israeli citizens;

10.    Calls on the EU to:

a.      Demand the end of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem;

b.      Reiterate its support to the recognition of a viable, independent, contiguous Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders, living in peace alongside Israel;

c.      Condemn the policy of collective punishment pursued against the Palestinian people and call for an end to Israel’s impunity over the continuous gross violations of international and humanitarian law, the Charter of the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;

d.      Call on the governments of all EU Member States to implement the 19 July 2013 Guidelines; call for a ban on import to the EU of all Israeli products produced in the illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories;

e.      Implement Article 2 of the EU-Israel Association Agreement by freezing the Agreement as long as Israel continues violating human rights;

f.       Impose a ban on arms exports from the EU to Israel; prohibit all arms imports from Israel into the EU; immediately end all cooperation with Israel in the framework of the European Defence Agency (EDA);

g.      Grant no funds to Israeli entities through Horizon 2020;

h.      Disclose the results of the Commission fact-finding mission to Gaza to evaluate the damages caused to EU-funded projects there during the recent Israeli aggression;

i        Convey to Israel the demand for MEPs to have access to the Gaza Strip;

j.       Demand that Israel reverse all decisions of land confiscations, first and utmost the land south of Bethlehem, and of settlement expansions and activities;

k.      Increase substantially the amount allocated to UNRWA and to the Palestinian Authority in view of the immense humanitarian disaster and material catastrophe in Gaza;

l.       Allocate substantial funds for the recuperation of the agricultural and fisheries sectors vital for the daily life of the population;

m.     Demand reparations from Israel for the EU-funded projects destroyed during repeated aggressions both in Gaza and the West Bank;

n.      Support the request made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to place Palestine under international protection;

o.      Support the Palestinian efforts to achieve unity;

11.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the President and Government of the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Israeli Government, the Knesset.


Texts adopted, P7_TA (2012)0298.

Last updated: 16 September 2014Legal notice