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to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Pasqualina Napoletano
on behalf of the PSE Group
on the result of the Palestinian elections and the situation in East Jerusalem

Procedūra : 2006/2507(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the result of the Palestinian elections and the situation in East Jerusalem

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle East and in particular that of 27 January 2005,

–  having regard to the results of the Palestinian legislative elections of 26 January 2006,

–  having regard to the statement by the European Union Election Observation Mission and the statement by the EP observers' delegation,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Palestinian legislative elections were held in a very satisfactory manner, with large participation and respect of the rules provided for by the Palestinian electoral law, and under the aegis of the Central Elections Commission;

B.  whereas there was full commitment from the international community, the Quartet and the European Union in requesting the holding of the elections,

C.  whereas these elections, according to the EU Election Observation Mission, 'marked another important milestone in the building of democratic institutions' under the efficient, professional and independent administration of the Palestinian Central Elections Commission (CEC),

D.   whereas the conduct of the elections has provided a model for the wider Arab region and has clearly demonstrated the commitment of the Palestinian people to democracy,

E.   whereas the support from the EU and other international donors is essential to ease the living conditions and the basic needs of the Palestinian people,

F.  whereas it is important to strongly encourage all parties concerned by the post-election situation to refrain from any action that could lead to increasing tension,

G.   whereas the Council decided not to take into account and therefore not to publish the report on East Jerusalem drafted by the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah,

1.  Welcomes the smooth and peaceful running of the election process and notably the high turnout of voters; considers that this large participation in the elections is proof of the will of the Palestinian people to shape their own future by democratic means;

2.  Considers that the electoral campaign and the election day operations respected international standards and welcomes the work of the European Union Election Observation Mission led by its chair, Véronique De Keyser;

3.  Respects the results of the elections and takes note of the commitment of the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, to act to form a new government which respects international rules and rejects violence, with a programme based on negotiations and a peaceful settlement of the conflict with Israel;

4.  Considers that there is no alternative to negotiations based on the two state solution and the full implementation of security for both sides; calls on the new Palestinian Parliament and future Government and the Israeli Parliament and Government to assume their responsibilities in fulfilling these goals;

5.  Asks for a strong and urgent initiative by the Quartet (UN, USA, EU and Russia) in order to promote a dialogue and negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis; considers that the 'Roadmap for Peace' remains a constructive base but stresses the need to achieve positive and concrete results;

6.  Points out that the upshot of the results, which provoked a profound change in the political arena in Palestine, is primarily an expression of the Palestinian people's desire for thorough change, and also reflects their difficult living conditions under occupation and is a signal of strong criticism and grievances against the past administration;

7.  Considers that Hamas, having participated in the elections and having obtained this very significant score, must now draw the consequences from this new situation and actively live up to its new responsibilities;

8.  Strongly invites the new Palestinian parliament and government to clearly condemn violence and terrorism in order to be able to continue to receive support from the EU and other international donors for the economic development of Palestine as well as democratic state building, in particular with regard to the Palestinian Legislative Council;

9.  Considers nevertheless that it is essential to continue to provide aid to the Palestinian population to ease their living conditions and basic needs;

10.  Expresses its support to the present EU ESDP missions in Gaza to implement the Agreement on Movement and Accession, signed by the Government of Israel and Palestinian Authority, the aim of which it to secure and orderly manage the border with Egypt;

11.  Endorses the conclusions of the report on East Jerusalem drafted by the EU Heads of mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah, which clearly describes the situation in East Jerusalem, in particular as a consequence of the building of the barrier, and brings forward concrete and positive recommendations for confronting the present problems; deplores the decision of the Council not to take into account the report and not to take initiatives; regrets that the European Parliament was not informed about its content;

12.  Reaffirms that the situation in East Jerusalem is part of the conflict as a whole and remains an issue for negotiations by the two sides; calls for the halt of the discriminatory treatment of Palestinian residents and for the re-opening of the Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem; considers, however, that despite the existing restrictions on its residents participating in the elections, the ballot and its turnout this year was more satisfying;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission, the President of the Palestinian National Authority and the newly elected Palestinian Legislative Council, the Prime Minister of Israel, the Knesset and the UN Secretary General.