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Thursday, 17 July 2014 - Strasbourg
Escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine

European Parliament resolution of 17 July 2014 on the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine (2014/2723(RSP))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the ongoing conflict is causing tragic loss of life and unacceptable suffering to the civilian populations of both involved parties;

B.  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;

C.  whereas Egypt proposed a ceasefire plan on 14 July 2014, so far only accepted by Israel;

D.  whereas Hamas is designated as a terrorist organisation by the EU;

E.  whereas Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has asked the United Nations to put Palestine under ‘international protection’ because of the worsening situation in Gaza;

F.  whereas international and humanitarian law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, is fully applicable to all parties involved in the conflict;

G.  whereas direct peace talks between the parties have stalled and all recent efforts to resume negotiations have failed; whereas the EU has called on the parties to pursue actions conducive to an environment of confidence which is necessary to ensure meaningful negotiations, to refrain from actions that undermine the credibility of the process, and to prevent incitement;

1.  Calls for an end to rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip, which Hamas and other armed groups must cease immediately, and for an end to the Israeli military action against Gaza;

2.  Expresses its deepest concern about the critical situation in the Gaza Strip and in Israel; mourns the loss of civilian life, including many women and children; denounces the murders of the three Israeli teenagers on 12 June and the Palestinian teenager on 2 July 2014, which have been met with universal condemnation; expresses its condolences to the families of all innocent victims;

3.  Stresses that both Israeli and Palestinian citizens have the right to live in peace and security; stresses the need for all sides fully to respect international humanitarian law, and that there can be no justification for the deliberate targeting of innocent civilians, which is a war crime in international law, and for the destruction of civilian infrastructure;

4.  Calls for the immediate de-escalation of the conflict through a ceasefire agreement between the two sides and an immediate end to all acts of violence which threaten civilian lives; welcomes all efforts to negotiate a permanent truce between the parties, and calls on the High Representative / Vice-President and the Member States to step up diplomatic pressure in order to support these actions;

5.  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; welcomes the decision of the Egyptian authorities to open the Rafah crossing to facilitate humanitarian access to Gaza and to enable the transit of Palestinian civilians;

6.  Reiterates its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the secure State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security, which would imply the lifting of the blockade of the Gaza Strip; 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 to play a more active role in the efforts aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace;

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.

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