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Procedure : 2007/2636(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0375/2007

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Debates :

PV 10/10/2007 - 18
CRE 10/10/2007 - 18

Votes :

PV 11/10/2007 - 8.1
CRE 11/10/2007 - 8.1
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Texts adopted
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Thursday, 11 October 2007 - Brussels
The humanitarian situation in Gaza

European Parliament resolution of 11 October 2007 on the humanitarian situation in Gaza

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle East, in particular those of 2 February 2006 on the result of the Palestinian elections and the situation in East Jerusalem(1), 1 June 2006 on the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories and the role of the EU(2), 7 September 2006 on the situation in the Middle East(3), 16 November 2006 on the situation in the Gaza Strip(4), 21 June 2007 on MEDA and financial support to Palestine - evaluation, implementation and control(5), and 12 July 2007 on the Middle East(6),

–   having regard to UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973),

–   having regard to the Quartet Statement of 23 September 2007,

–   having regard to the conclusion of the External Relations Council of 23 and 24 July 2007,

–   having regard to the statement on the Middle East made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on 21 September 2007,

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

A.   whereas, as a result of the embargo on the movement of people and goods, the massive devastation of public facilities and private homes, the disruption of hospitals, clinics and schools, the partial denial of access to proper drinking water, food and electricity, and the destruction of agricultural land, the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip has reached a catastrophic level,

B.   whereas the Karni and Rafah border crossings have been closed for months, and whereas the embargo on the movement of people and goods has further paralysed the economy and has significantly contributed to an extremely high rate of unemployment in the Gaza Strip,

C.   whereas the water and the water waste sectors are in a critical situation, and whereas that situation may result, due to the shortage of water and the possibility of sewage flooding, in further environmental and humanitarian crises,

D.   whereas the health system is under severe pressure and a significant proportion of the population is suffering from a lack of urgently needed treatment and medicines,

E.   whereas the education system is facing serious shortcomings due to a lack of basic materials required for its functioning, and the quality of education is declining; whereas the situation will have serious consequences for the future of the young generation of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip,

F.   whereas the European Union has provided considerable financial support to the Palestinians in the past years; whereas the EU's Temporary International Mechanism and project-funding have played an important role in avoiding a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank since 2006,

G.   whereas the embargo on the movement of people and goods and the internal insecurity of the Gaza Strip are considerably obstructing the operations of the Commission Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid, the UN agencies, the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, and other humanitarian organisations providing aid and assistance to people living in the Gaza Strip; whereas the Commission, the UN Development Programme, the UN Relief and Works Agency and the World Bank have suspended several infrastructure projects due to their inability to import raw materials; whereas those humanitarian offices, agencies and organisations are continuing their activities despite all the obstacles; stressing the need to fulfil the financial commitments related to those activities made by the European Union and its Member States,

H.   whereas, in its statement of 23 September 2007, the Quartet expressed its deep concern about the conditions in the Gaza Strip, agreed on the importance of continued emergency and humanitarian assistance without obstruction, and called for the continued provision of essential services,

I.   whereas the improvement of the living conditions of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, together with the revival of the peace process and the establishment of functioning Palestinian institutions, is a key aspect in the efforts aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians,

1.  Expresses its deepest concern about the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip and its possible grave consequences; stresses that human rights and international humanitarian law must be fully respected in the area; reiterates its call on all sides to renounce violence;

2.  Calls on Israel to fulfil its international obligations under the Geneva Conventions to guarantee the flow of humanitarian aid, humanitarian assistance and essential services, such as electricity and fuel, to the Gaza Strip; calls for the lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip; calls on Israel to ensure the movement of people and goods at Rafah, in compliance with the Agreement on Movement and Access and the EU Border Assistance Mission, as well as the movement of goods at Karni; calls on the Council, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Commission to face up to their full responsibility on the implementation of that agreement; calls on Israel to guarantee the flow of financial assets to the Gaza Strip, which has been suspended since 25 September 2007, and considers that the lack of access to any financial assets has a serious impact on the economic, social and daily life of the Palestinian people;

3.  Calls on the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to facilitate, despite the political deadlock, the functioning of the public institutions providing essential services and the operations of international humanitarian offices, agencies and organisations seeking to improve the living conditions of all Palestinians living in the area;

4.  Calls on the Council and the Commission to continue to guarantee, together with the international community, essential humanitarian aid for the Palestinian population, with special regard to the specific needs of particularly vulnerable groups; urges the Council and the Commission to ensure, in compliance with the Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement with the State of Israel(7) and the Euro-Association Interim Agreement with the Palestinian Authority(8), that international humanitarian law and human rights are fully respected in the area, including by non-state actors, in order to establish a humanitarian area;

5.  Expresses its wish that the efforts to convene an international peace conference should contribute to achieving a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions, the right of the State of Israel to live within secure and recognised borders, and the right to a viable state for Palestinians;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, the Quartet Envoy to the Middle East, the President of the Euro-Mediterranean Parliamentary Assembly, the President of the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Israeli Government and the Knesset, and the Egyptian Government and Parliament.

(1) OJ C 288 E, 25.11.2006, p. 79.
(2) OJ C 298 E, 8.12.2006, p. 223.
(3) OJ C 305 E, 14.12.2006, p. 236.
(4) OJ C 314 E, 21.12.2006, p. 324.
(5) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0277.
(6) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0350.
(7) OJ L 147, 21.6.2000, p. 3.
(8) OJ L 187, 16.7.1997, p. 3.

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