Procedure : 2014/2845(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0117/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 18/09/2014 - 10.8
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0117/2014

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))

Gianni Pittella, Victor Boştinaru, Knut Fleckenstein, Elena Valenciano Martínez-Orozco, Richard Howitt, Pier Antonio Panzeri, Nicola Caputo, Gilles Pargneaux, Vincent Peillon, Boris Zala, Miltiadis Kyrkos on behalf of the S&D 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 its previous resolutions on the Middle East Peace Process, in particular that of 17 July 2014 on the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine(1),

–       having regard to the European Council Conclusions of 30 August 2014,

–       having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council Conclusions on the Middle East (Gaza) of 15 August 2014,

–       having regard to the EU statement on the ceasefire in Gaza of 27 August 2014,

–       having regard to the ceasefire agreement between Israelis and Palestinians of 26 August 2014,

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

A.     whereas more than 2 000 Palestinians were killed – a large majority of them civilians, including hundreds of children – and more than 10 000 Palestinians were wounded in the Gaza Strip, while 66 Israeli soldiers and 6 Israeli civilians, including a child, lost their lives and more than 500 Israelis were wounded between early July and late August 2014 as a result of Operation Protective Edge by the Israeli Defence Forces and the firing of rockets by Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups from Gaza into Israel; whereas this violent conflict has created a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza;

B.     whereas the land and naval blockade of the Gaza Strip has been in place for more than seven years; whereas following the latest major escalation in violence in the area in November 2012 a ceasefire was reached between Israel and Hamas, mediated by Egypt; whereas on 2 June 2014 a Palestinian national consensus government was established with the support of Fatah and Hamas; whereas three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped in the West Bank in mid-June and found killed near Hebron on 30 June 2014; whereas in Operation Brother’s Keeper, in search of the kidnapped teenagers, Israeli forces killed several militants and arrested more than 350 Palestinians; whereas, in response, Hamas resumed rocket attacks against Israel; whereas a Palestinian teenager was kidnapped and found burnt alive in Jerusalem on 2 July 2014;

C.     whereas an open-ended ceasefire, brokered by Egypt, was agreed by both sides involved in the conflict and took effect on 26 August 2014; whereas, according to the ceasefire agreement, humanitarian aid should be allowed access to the Gaza Strip through crossings to Israel, the Rafah crossing should be opened, and the fishing zone should be extended to six miles off the coast of Gaza;

D.     whereas, if the truce holds, the parties should start talks on various subjects relating to the situation in the Gaza Strip at the end of September 2014; whereas these talks may include the disarmament of armed groups in Gaza and the return of the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed in the violent conflict, on the one hand, and the demands to release Palestinian prisoners and to lift or ease the blockade of Gaza, including through the reconstruction of the seaport and the airport in the area, on the other;

E.     whereas a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians can only be achieved through direct peace negotiations leading to 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; whereas the Gaza Strip should be part of this future Palestinian state;

F.     whereas on 30 August 2014, in response to the kidnapping and killing of the three teenage boys in June 2014, Israel announced the appropriation of nearly 1 000 acres of Palestinian land, the largest area in 30 years, for the construction of a new settlement; whereas, despite strong international protest, Israeli settlement building and expansion continues in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem;

G.     whereas some 7 000 Palestinians continue to be detained in Israeli prisons and detention centres, including 36 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, many women and children, 39 pre-Oslo prisoners and more than 500 administrative detainees;

H.     whereas, in its conclusion of 30 August 2014, the European Council reiterated the readiness of the European Union to contribute to a comprehensive and sustainable solution enhancing the security, welfare and prosperity of Palestinians and Israelis alike;

I.      whereas, in its conclusions of 15 August 2014, the Foreign Affairs Council declared that the EU is ready to support a possible international mechanism endorsed by the UN Security Council, including through the re-activation and possible extension in scope and mandate of its EUBAM Rafah and EUPOL COPPS missions on the ground, and the launch of a training programme for Palestinian Authority customs personnel and police for redeployment in Gaza; whereas the Council declared also that the EU is prepared to contribute to arrangements that prevent illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition to Gaza and can ensure the sustained re-opening of Gaza’s crossing points, while the EU will study options for an internationally supervised mechanism to enable full access and movement through all Gaza ports of entry;

J.      whereas, in its conclusions of 16 December 2013, the Foreign Affairs Council announced that the European Union would provide an unprecedented package of political, economic and security support to both parties in the context of a final status agreement, and that in the event of a final peace agreement, it would offer Israel and the future state of Palestine a Special Privileged Partnership including increased access to European markets, closer cultural and scientific links, facilitation of trade and investments, and the promotion of business-to-business relations, and that enhanced political dialogue and security cooperation would also be offered in this context;

1.      Condemns the loss of civilian lives, among them many women and children, and the suffering of the civilian population on both sides, with special regard to the population in the Gaza Strip, in the violent conflict of July and August 2014 between Israel, on the one hand, and Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups on the other, and extends its sincere condolences to the families of innocent victims;

2.      Welcomes the ceasefire agreement of 26 August 2014, commends Egypt for its successful mediation efforts, and calls on all parties to fully respect the truce;

3.      Stresses that providing full and unimpeded access for humanitarian aid to the population in the Gaza Strip must be an immediate priority; urges the international community to further intensify its efforts in this regard and to answer as a matter of urgency the emergency appeals for additional funding of UNRWA; calls on all actors in the region to facilitate humanitarian assistance reaching those in need of basic goods and services – with special regard to electricity services and water supplies, and the specific needs of children in particular – in Gaza without delay; expresses its concerns about the alleged cases of intentional blocking of humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza; underlines, at the same time, that EU humanitarian and financial assistance must fully benefit, in the most efficient way possible, the Palestinian people, and must never be used, directly or indirectly, for terrorist activities;

4.      Welcomes the ongoing cooperation between the Israeli Government and the Palestinian National Consensus Government in various fields, and urges both parties to continue along this path; urges, at the same time, the Palestinian National Consensus Government to take over full authority in the Gaza Strip without delay, in order to avoid Gaza’s sliding into chaos and lawlessness; calls, in this spirit, for the completion of the Palestinian reconciliation process, which should lead to the holding of parliamentary and presidential elections soon;

5.      Stresses that the status quo in the Gaza Strip is unsustainable and that there is no solution to the humanitarian crisis in the area without lifting the blockade; calls again for the lifting of the blockade regime, which is a collective punishment of the local population and plays into the hands of extremists, leading to constantly renewed cycles of violence; believes that there will be no long-term stability in Gaza without reconstruction and economic revival, which is undermined by the lack of free movement of people and goods; calls for a rapid reconstruction and rehabilitation of Gaza, and strongly supports the donors’ conference to be held on 12 October 2014 in Cairo;

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; reiterates that the Gaza Strip must be part of the future Palestinian state;

7.      Condemns the continued building and extension of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including in East Jerusalem, and the mass appropriation of Palestinian land, which undermines the prospects of the two-state solution and leads only to more extremism, and calls again for an immediate end to this policy;

8.      Reiterates its support for the security of Israel, for the right of Palestinians to have their own state, and for the policy of peaceful resistance of President Mahmoud Abbas in this regard; encourages the European Union and its Member States to support the efforts of President Abbas to unblock the current deadlock in the peace process through a new initiative; condemns any act of terrorism or violence, and calls for the disarmament of armed terrorist groups in Gaza as part of the peace process;

9.      Calls again for the release of all Palestinian political prisoners, including elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council such as Marwan Barghouti, which would be a major contribution to trust-building and peace efforts between the two sides;

10.    Urges the European Union to live up to its historical responsibility to become a genuine political player in the Middle East, including through a comprehensive European peace initiative and plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to be presented and negotiated in an international peace conference with the participation of both sides and all key regional and international actors, in close cooperation with the United States; stresses again that the EU, as a major trade partner and donor in the region, has available to it a wide range of instruments, in the field of trade policy in particular, with which to encourage both sides to resume credible peace talks and achieve tangible results in this process, and calls for a more effective use of this leverage in the Union’s bilateral relations with Israel and with the Palestinian Authority;

11.    Encourages the European Union and its Members States to draw up concrete initiatives and proposals aimed at putting in place international measures and mechanisms which would allow the sustained lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip, including the reactivation of the EUBAM Rafah mission;

12.    Calls on the Israeli authorities to allow unhindered access to official delegations of the European Parliament to the Gaza Strip;

13.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU Special Representative to 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 parliament and government of Egypt, the Knesset and the Government of Israel, the President of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council.



Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0012.

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