Motion for a resolution - B8-0071/2014Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine

15.7.2014 - (2014/2723(RSP))

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

Gianni Pittella, Victor Boştinaru, Knut Fleckenstein on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0071/2014

Procedure : 2014/2723(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine


The European Parliament,

–       having regard to its previous resolutions on the Gaza Strip, in particular that of 22 November 2012 on the situation in Gaza[1],

–       having regard to the statement of 8 July 2014 by the spokesperson of Vice-President / High Representative Catherine Ashton on rocket fire from Gaza and ongoing retaliation operations of the Israeli Defence Forces,

–       having regard to the UN Security Council statement of 12 July 2014,

–       having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

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

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

A.     whereas, according to the United Nations, at least 175 people, the majority of them civilians, including many children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Operation Protective Edge was launched by the Israel Defence Forces on 7 July 2014; whereas, according to the Palestinian Authority, more than 1 200 people have been injured, more than 160 000 people have been displaced, more than 1 000 homes have been demolished, and hundreds of thousands of people have been affected by the destruction of basic infrastructure in the area;

B.     whereas, according to the Israeli Government, 300 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel from mid-June to 7 July 2014; whereas, according to the Israel Defence Forces, more than 1 000 rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel since 7 July, aimed at targets as far away as Tel Aviv and the north of the country; whereas rockets have also been launched into Israeli territory from Lebanon and Syria;

C.     whereas, in its statement of 12 July 2014, the UN Security Council expressed serious concern regarding the crisis relating to Gaza, called for de-escalation of the situation, the restoration of calm and the reinstatement of the November 2012 ceasefire, and for respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians, and expressed support for the resumption of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians with the aim of achieving a comprehensive peace agreement based on the two-state solution;

D.     whereas Egypt proposed a ceasefire plan on 14 July 2014, which has been accepted by the Israeli Government; whereas Hamas has not formally responded to this proposal so far; whereas a number of other international actors have warned against the further escalation of the crisis, called upon Hamas and Palestinian militants to put an end to the firing of rockets, and warned Israel against any ground invasion of the Gaza Strip;

E.     whereas it 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;

1.      Expresses its deepest concern about the critical situation in the Gaza Strip and in southern Israel; mourns the loss of civilian life, including many children, in the Gaza Strip; and expresses its condolences to the families of innocent victims;

2.      Calls for the immediate de-escalation of the conflict through a ceasefire agreement between both sides and an immediate end to all acts of violence which threaten civilian lives; welcomes the initiative taken by Egypt in this regard and the decision of the Israeli Government to accept its proposal; calls on the Palestinian side to respond positively to this initiative;

3.      Calls for an end to the indiscriminate firing of rockets deliberately targeting Israeli civilians and to the use of human shields in the hostilities by Hamas and Palestinian militants; while recognising Israel’s right to protect its population, calls on Israel to avoid excessive use of force and to fully respect its obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians – especially women and children – and vital civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip; warns against an Israeli ground invasion in the area, which would further intensify the conflict and have serious humanitarian consequences;

4.      Urges the international community, and the UN Security Council in particular, to find an adequate response and solution to the current crisis without delay; encourages key regional actors, notably Egypt and Jordan, to continue their efforts to calm the situation;

5.      Calls again for the lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip, for an effective control mechanism to prevent the smuggling of arms into the area, in recognition of Israel’s legitimate security needs, and for the reconstruction and economic recovery of the Gaza Strip;

6.      Reiterates again its support for the two-state solution, on the basis of the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security; stresses again that non-violent means are the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians;

7.      Calls, in this spirit, for serious and credible efforts by both sides and the international community to resume direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, and to achieve concrete results in these talks; urges again the EU and its Member States to play a more active political role in this regard, including through a European peace initiative and plan;

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