Communiqués

Statement of the Chair Manu Pineda on the designation of Palestinian rights groups as ‘terrorist organizations’ by Israel

Brussels, 25/10/2021

I am deeply concerned about Israel's designation of six Palestinian human rights groups as 'terror organizations', which seriously constrains legitimate human rights and humanitarian work. These organizations are Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq Law in the Service of Man, Bisan Centre for Research and Development, Defence for Children International - Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, and the Union of Palestinian Women's Committees. They do an invaluable work in the defence of human rights and are important partners with which the Delegation for relations with Palestine of the European Parliament has regularly met and discussed the situation in Palestine.

I stress the clear position of the UN Human Rights Office in the occupied Palestinian territory, on 22 October 2021, calling on "Israel to fully respect the rights to freedom of association and expression, without any interference or harassment against the organizations or their staff". This is the last step in a campaign to delegitimise Palestinian human rights organisations and civil society. Human rights defenders have long been subjected to detentions, raids in their offices, and other attacks on their work by the Israeli occupation authorities, but the repercussions of this new declaration can have an extremely damaging impact on Palestine's civil society.

I express my full support for the work of these Palestinian civil society human rights groups recalling the long-standing cooperation of many of them with the EU, which must continue. I call on this decision to be reverted in order for these civil society groups and their staff to be protected and their capacity to continue working to be ensured.

For further information contact:

Office of Mr Manu Pineda
Tel. (+32) 2 28 45815
E-mail manu.pineda@europarl.europa.eu

EuroMed and Middle East Unit
E-mail dpal@europarl.europa.eu

Statement of the Chair Manu Pineda on the hunger strike of seven Palestinian prisoners in administrative detention

Strasbourg, 05/10/2021


I am deeply concerned about the lives of seven Palestinian prisoners who have been on hunger strike for over two months since the Israeli authorities refuse to respond to their demands and end their detention. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has also expressed its concern about the deteriorating health of two amongst them, Mr. Kayed Nammoura and Mr. Miqdad Qawasmeh, administratively detained and hospitalized in Israel. The Israeli authorities have the responsibility to guarantee that the health of these prisoners is not harmed, and must act immediately to end their detention.

I recall the EU long-standing position, as expressed in similar cases in the past, calling on Israel to fully respect international humanitarian law as well as its human rights obligations and international standards towards all prisoners, also in light of the Fourth Geneva Convention.

The striking prisoners are in administrative detention and therefore have been denied their right to a fair and free trial. Thus, I want to stress that it is imperative that the Israeli authorities put an end to the systematic practice of administrative detention in line with the EU position "against the extensive use by Israel of administrative detention without formal charges" and "that detainees have the right to be informed about the charges and any detention, must be granted access to legal assistance, and be given a fair trial within a reasonable time or be released". To this end, I urge HRVP Joseph Borrell to use all diplomatic means at his disposal in support of the Palestinian hunger strikers.


For further information contact:

Office of Mr Manu Pineda
Tel. (+32) 2 28 45815
E-mail manu.pineda@europarl.europa.eu

EuroMed and Middle East Unit
E-mail dpal@europarl.europa.eu

Statement of Chair Manu Pineda, on the planned eviction of Palestinians from Silwan

Brussels, 14 June 2021

170 Palestinians residing in three areas of the Silwan neighbourhood in East Jerusalem are still at imminent risk of forced eviction through court proceedings. An Israeli court has postponed a hearing in the case of two Palestinian families facing forced displacement from their homes in the Batn al-Hawa area in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Silwan, delaying it until 7 August.

I reiterate that Israel has not acquired sovereignty over this territory and according to IV Geneva Convention, this a clear violation of the Palestinian people´s inalienable right to their homes and lands.

The EU has recently underlined that "such unilateral actions are illegal under international humanitarian law and only fuel tensions on the ground. The Israeli authorities should cease these activities and provide adequate permits for legal construction and development of Palestinian communities". During the recent escalation of violence, HR VP Borrell recalled the EU's long-standing position on the need to cease settlement activities, demolitions and evictions, including in East Jerusalem.

I call on the Israeli occupation authorities to halt immediately all ongoing attempts to forced expulsion of Palestinian population from Silwan and the rest of Jerusalem, which aim to fragment Palestinians and ultimately end their presence in the city. In this vein, I encourage the new Israeli government to stop these continued forced evictions as a part of a new policy that shows will to respect international law and to revitalize peace talks.


For further information contact:

Office of Mr Manu Pineda
Tel. (+32) 2 28 45815
E-mail manu.pineda@europarl.europa.eu

EuroMed and Middle East Unit
E-mail dpal@europarl.europa.eu

Statement by Chair Manu Pineda on the civilian casualties in Gaza following the ongoing Israeli attacks

Brussels, 20 May 2021

I am deeply concerned about the dramatic situation and the serious civilian casualties in Gaza during the ongoing Israeli raids. As stressed by the informal meeting of Foreign Affairs Ministers (18 May) it is unacceptable that the upsurge of violence in the last days has led to a high number of civilians casualties, dead and injured, among them a high number of children and women.

According to OHCHR, since 10 May, 213 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including three pregnant women, two disabled persons, and 62 children. Hostilities have resulted in additional displacement of Palestinians, bringing the cumulative number of internally displaced persons to 72,000, including 47,000 seeking protection in 58 UNRWA schools across Gaza.

I reiterate the call of HRVP Josep Borrell as expressed in his recent statement for full respect for international humanitarian law and for full humanitarian access to be granted to those most in need in Gaza. I also reiterate his call to address the root causes of this conflict.

I condemn all ongoing attacks against civilians in Gaza and I call on the international community to firmly condemn them.


For further information contact:

Office of Mr Manu Pineda
Tel. (+32) 2 28 45815
Email: manu.pineda@europarl.europa.eu

EuroMed and Middle East Unit
Email: dpal@europarl.europa.eu

Statement by Chair Manu Pineda on the clashes and spiralling violence in East Jerusalem

Brussels, 10 May 2021

I am deeply concerned about the serious escalation of violence over the last weekend in East Jerusalem, in particular at Haram Al-Sharif/Temple Mount which led to dozens of injured Palestinians as well as about the planned evictions of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah and other areas of East Jerusalem by the Israeli authorities.

I fully share the serious concern of the Middle East Quartet Envoys, as expressed in their Joint Press Statement, on 8 May 2021, regarding the "possible evictions of Palestinian families from homes they have lived in for generations in Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods in East Jerusalem" and I welcome their clear message to "call upon Israeli authorities to exercise restraint and to avoid measures that would further escalate the situation during this period of Muslim Holy Days". On 8 May 2021, the EU recalled that "such unilateral actions are illegal under international humanitarian law and only fuel tensions on the ground".

In this vein, I urge the Israeli authorities to halt immediately all ongoing attempts of evictions of the Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah and I call on the international community to firmly condemn them.



For further information contact:

Office of Mr Manu Pineda
Tel. (+32) 2 28 45815
E-mail: manu.pineda@europarl.europa.eu

EuroMed and Middle East Unit
E-mail: dpal@europarl.europa.eu


Statement by Chair Manu Pineda on the decision to postpone the Palestinian legislative elections

Brussels, 3 May 2021

I regret the decision to postpone the Palestinian legislative elections that were planned for 22 May 2021. This is a disappointing choice that responds to the obstacles the Israeli authorities have imposed throughout the process, particularly regarding the possibility to vote in East Jerusalem.

In previous statements, I have regretted the attempts to prevent the election to take place in a normal way in East Jerusalem, which even led to the arrest of three candidates. As the High Representative Josep Borrell has declared, the EU is ready to facilitate the holding of such elections across Palestine, including in East Jerusalem.

I join the High Representative's call to all actors to resume talks and efforts and set a new date as soon as possible for these long awaited elections, and to maintain the presidential election scheduled for 31 July 2021. I call on all international actors to call for Israel to allow elections to take place in Jerusalem and the Palestinian authority to honour the demand of the Palestinian civil society and facilitate elections as soon as possible.

In this situation, the EU will continue to support the electoral process, including through the deployment of an EU Election Observation Mission, which should also, as per the Oslo Agreements, coordinate the activity of the other delegations of international observers. I call on the Israeli authorities to fulfil its international obligations and allow the holding of the Palestinian elections, including by responding positively to the EU's official requests to observe the electoral process.

Statement by Manu Pineda on the obstacles and practices by the Israeli authorities regarding the upcoming legislative elections in Palestine

Brussels, 21/04/2021

I am deeply concerned about the serious obstacles and practises of the Israeli authorities regarding the upcoming legislative elections in Palestine, including ignoring the EU's request to access occupied Palestine in order to observe the elections, violating the Oslo accords once again.

There is an EU formal request to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs demanding access for the EU exploratory mission via Israel to Palestine still pending reply since 8 February 2021, despite continuous contact of the EU with the Israeli authorities. As the EU Representative Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff underlined recently "this delay has considerably reduced the EU option to observe the 22 May legislative elections".

I reiterate that as per the Oslo accords (Annex II - Protocol concerning elections, article V, Point 4), the European Union has a specific responsibility and obligation to act as the coordinator for the activity of observer delegations. Therefore, I call on the Israeli authorities to fully respect their obligations and to facilitate without any further delay an adequate EU observer presence.

Furthermore, I urge Israel to halt immediately all ongoing attempts of disruption of the elections process in East Jerusalem, like the very recent one (17 April 2021) highlighted by the Office of the UE Representative, in which the Israeli authorities prevented a press conference and arrested three Palestinian electoral candidates. I condemn these arrests and call on the Israeli authorities to guarantee that the election campaign can take place in East Jerusalem without any obstacles. I welcome HR/VP Borrell statement of 19 April 2021, "reiterating the EU's strong support for the holding of elections across all of the Palestinian territory, including in East Jerusalem" and to this vein I urge Israel to comply with its commitments as foreseen by the Oslo accords.


For further information contact:

Office of Mr Manu Pineda
Tel. (+32) 2 28 45815
Email: manu.pineda@europarl.europa.eu

EuroMed and Middle East Unit
Email: dpal@europarl.europa.eu



Statement by Manu Pineda on the risk of forced eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem

Brussels, 18 March 2021

37 households of around 195 Palestinians, residing in Karm Al-Ja'ouni area in Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood and Batn Al-Hawa neighbourhood in Silwan are currently at imminent risk of forced eviction through court proceedings.

I am deeply concerned about these policies and practices by the Israeli occupying forces, which have become systematic in the city and have as objective the strategic fragmentation of the Palestinian people, especially in East Jerusalem. According to IV Geneva Convention (Part III, Section III) this a clear violation of the Palestinian people's inalienable right to their homes and lands.

I reiterate that Israel has not acquired sovereignty over the territory and therefore Israeli domestic laws that create the basis for the claims to evict the families do not exempt Israel, as the occupying power, from meeting its obligations to administer the occupied territory in a manner that provides for and protects the local population. The situation in East Jerusalem shows that Israel is doing the opposite by attempting to cut out Palestinian presence.

The EU has recently called on "the Israeli authorities to reverse the rulings on the intended evictions, in line with the EU's long-standing position on Israel's settlement policy, illegal under international law, and actions taken in that context, such as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes".

I call on the Israeli occupation authorities to halt immediately all ongoing attempts to transfer Palestinian population, particularly in East Jerusalem, in line with the successive Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions and statements in which "the EU has repeated its strong opposition to Israel's settlement policy and actions taken in this context, including evictions. This policy is illegal under international law."

For further information contact:
Office of Manu PINEDA
Tel. (+32) 2 28 45815 / e-mail: manu.pineda@europarl.europa.eu
EuroMed and Middle East Unit / e-mail: dpal@europarl.europa.eu

Joint Statement on the new EU Agenda for the Mediterranean (24/02/2021)

LEADING MEPs WELCOME THE NEW EU AGENDA FOR THE MEDITERRANEAN

"The EU can only gain from deepening our relationships with our southern neighbours"

Joint statement by the European Parliament's Chair of the Delegation for relations with Israel (D-IL), Antonio LÓPEZ-ISTÚRIZ WHITE (EPP, ES); the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Palestine (DPAL), Manu PINEDA (The Left, ES); the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries (DMAG), Andrea COZZOLINO (S&D, IT); and the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries (DMAS), Isabel SANTOS (S&D, PT)

Following the publication of the European Union's new Agenda for the Mediterranean, the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Israel (D-IL), Antonio LÓPEZ-ISTÚRIZ WHITE (EPP, ES); the Chair of the Delegation for relations with Palestine (DPAL), Manu PINEDA (THE LEFT, ES); the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Maghreb countries (DMAG), Andrea COZZOLINO (S&D, IT); and the Chair of the Delegation for relations with the Mashreq countries (DMAS), Isabel SANTOS (S&D, PT) said:

"In recent years, the Mediterranean has increasingly become a place of geo-strategic and geo-political interest. If the European Union does not focus sufficiently and allocate adequate resources to the region, we will fail to be a key actor in our own neighbourhood. We therefore welcome the adoption of the new Agenda for the Mediterranean. The allocation of funds through the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) and the development of an 'Economic and Investment Plan for the Southern Neighbourhood' provide some of the necessary tools to support the EU's work with our southern neighbours. We also welcome the Agenda's focus on common values and dialogue and its grounding in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Agreement and the European Green Deal.

Ten years on from the 2011 uprisings, southern neighbourhood countries still face many challenges, including growing unemployment and high levels of discontent among the countries' youth. The focus on achieving stability in the southern neighbourhood countries is therefore crucial at a time when the region is mired by conflict, and political and economic crises. But real stability can only be achieved through democracy, respect for the rule of law and human rights. The EU needs to redouble its efforts to ensure that stability is achieved by reinforcing our shared values of human rights, human development, good governance and the rule of law - the first policy area of the new Agenda. This work must include civil society organisations at all levels.

While the new Agenda is timely and provides a useful roadmap for our engagement with our southern neighbours, there are two policy areas or tools that are missing from the note. First, we should not underestimate the role of parliaments in delivering this new Agenda for the Mediterranean. Parliaments in the southern neighbourhood countries will have a key role to play in delivering all aspects of the Agenda, through effective legislation, budgetary scrutiny, holding the executive to account and more. Parliamentary diplomacy and cooperation must be key tools in the implementation of the Agenda. Second, we believe the EU can work more with local authorities in countries that are affected by conflict or political/economic crisis to delivery support and services to citizens.

Finally, in order to define the implementation of the Agenda with our partners and achieve a real, joint appropriation of its objectives, a summit between the EU and the southern neighbourhood countries should be organised. Such a summit should include civil society organisation, who will be key partners in the implementation of the Agenda.

As the Chairs of the Delegations for relations with the southern neighbourhood countries, we look forward to work with the national parliaments from the region to help deliver this new Agenda for the Mediterranean."

_________

Background

To relaunch and strengthen the strategic partnership between the European Union and its Southern Neighbourhood partners, the European Commission and the High Representative have adopted a joint communication proposing an ambitious and innovative new Agenda for the Mediterranean. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_426

For further information contact:
Office of Manu PINEDA
Tel. (+32) 2 28 45815 / e-mail: manu.pineda@europarl.europa.eu
EuroMed and Middle East Unit / e-mail: dpal@europarl.europa.eu

Statement by the Chair on settlement block expansion in Givat Hamatos (19/11/2020)

I am extremely concerned by the Israeli authorities' decision to construct an entirely new settlement block of 1257 units at Givat Hamatos, creating a ring-zone of settlements between Jerusalem and Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank. The construction of this settlement block would be particularly damaging for a peaceful solution in line with international law, as it further isolates illegally annexed East Jerusalem from the West Bank.

I denounce this serious settlement expansion and I want to join the call made by VP/HR Josep Borrell's and UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov's statements, who both firmly condemned this illegal settlement construction and called on the Israeli authorities to reverse this step, underlining that : "any settlement construction will cause serious damage to the prospects for a viable and contiguous Palestinian State and, more broadly, to the possibility of a negotiated two-state solution in line with the internationally agreed parameters. The EU must move forward, and pass from words to actions in order to show that such moves will not pass unchallenged.

Furthermore, I strongly condemn the harassment by Jerusalem Deputy Mayor Arieh King and by some far right activists against European Union ambassadors, headed by the European Union's representative to Palestine, Sven Kühn von Burgsdorff, on Monday 16 November 2020. I extend my full solidarity with representative Kühn von Burgsdorff and the other representatives. This took place during the exercise of their duties, namely visiting Givat Hamatos to express EU countries' disapproval of the Israel Lands Authority's decision to start the bidding process for the construction of the new housing units in the neighborhood. This kind of harassment is unacceptable, and reflects the increasing obstacles and difficulties faced by different actors, both local and foreign, defending dialogue and a solution based on international law.

Manu Pineda