The Israeli military continues its indiscriminate killing of Palestinian civilians. During Wednesday morning of 8 November, 19 innocent people died when Israel shelled their houses in the village of Beit Hanoun. At least 40 people were injured. Since Israel launched 'Operation Autumn Cloud' just over a week ago, 80 Palestinians have been killed.
The EU is Israel's most important trading partner. Israeli currently has a very favourable trade agreement with the EU, though it is not without conditions. One of its requirements is respect for human rights.
The Swedish Foreign Minister has sharply criticised the recent Israeli attacks, saying that the country's actions are contrary to international law. The suspension of the EU's free trade agreement with Israel would make a significant mark and a practical impact in persuading Israel to cease the attacks.
This has happened in the past. On 3 October 2005, the Council decided on a partial suspension of the partnership and cooperation agreement with Uzbekistan because of excesses and violations of human rights in the country.
Does the Council share the Swedish Foreign Minister's assessment that the Israeli attacks on the Palestinian people constitute a breach of international law, and is the Council prepared to move from words to action and suspend the EU's free trade agreement with Israel?