Procedure : 2009/2504(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B6-0051/2009

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 14/01/2009 - 8
CRE 14/01/2009 - 8

Votes :

PV 15/01/2009 - 6.3
CRE 15/01/2009 - 6.3
Explanations of votes
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B6-0051/2009
12 January 2009
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 and Hannes Swoboda
on behalf of the PSE Group
on the situation in the Middle East/Gaza Strip

European Parliament resolution on the situation in the Middle East/Gaza Strip 

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle East, in particular those of 16 November 2006 on the situation in the Gaza Strip(1), 12 July 2007 on the Middle East(2), 11 October 2007 on the humanitarian situation in Gaza(3) and 21 February 2008 on the situation in the Gaza Strip(4),

–  having regard to UN Security Council Resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1860 of 8 January 2009,

–  having regard the Fourth Geneva Convention (1949),

–  having regard to the Statement by the European Union on the situation in the placeMiddle East of 30 December 2008,

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

A.  whereas on 27 December country-regionIsraelCity launched a military offensive in Gaza in response to Hamas rocket attacks in the south of placecountry-regionIsrael,

B.  whereas, according to the latest reports, the Israeli operation has so far killed about a thousand people in Gaza, most of them women and children, as well as causing thousands of casualties and the destruction of houses, schools and other key civilian infrastructures, as witnessed also by some Members of this House during their recent visit to Rafah,

C.  whereas many reports claim the use by the Israeli army of phosphorus ammunition, causing more serious injuries,

D.  whereas the border crossings in and out of placeCityGaza have been closed for eighteen months and the embargo on the movement of people and goods has affected the daily lives of the inhabitants and further paralysed the economy in the Strip,

E.  whereas the policy of isolation of the Gaza Strip has failed at both the political and the humanitarian level, and whereas the embargo on the Gaza Strip constitutes collective punishment, in contravention of international humanitarian law,

F.  whereas the considerable European Union financial support to the Palestinians has played an important role in preventing a humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank; whereas the European Union continues to provide, including through UNWRA, humanitarian assistance to the people and direct subsidies to employees of the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip, via the EU’s PEGASE financing mechanism and other international assistance to the Palestinian Territories,

1.  Expresses its deepest outrage at the violence in the Gaza Strip, the consequences of the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli army and the continuing military escalation that is claiming many hundreds of victims, most of them civilians, including many children; expresses its sympathy with the civilian population affected by the violence in Gaza and southern Israel; very much regrets the fact that civilian and UN targets have also been hit;

2.  Calls for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, which should include a withdrawal from territory re-occupied in recent days by the Israeli army, and for a negotiated truce, which should be guaranteed by a mechanism, to be set up by the international community, providing for the dispatch of a multinational force, to include Arab and Muslim countries;

3.  Calls on Israel to fulfil its obligations under international law and international humanitarian law; calls on Hamas to end rocket attacks and to assume its own responsibilities by committing itself to a political process aimed at restoring inter-Palestinian dialogue and contributing to the ongoing process of negotiation;

4.  Welcomes the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1860 of 8 January 2009 and, despite the lack of an undertaking on its implementation by both sides, calls on all parties concerned fully to respect its provisions, and invites the Council and the EU Member States to increase their pressure in order to halt the ongoing violence;

5.  Agrees on the need to provide as a matter of urgency, as demanded by UNSC Resolution 1860, arrangements and guarantees in Gaza with a view to sustaining a durable ceasefire, including ensuring a lasting re-opening of the crossing points and preventing illicit trafficking in arms and ammunition;

6.  Calls in the strongest terms on the Israeli authorities to allow food, urgent medical aid and fuel to be delivered to the Gaza Strip by opening the crossing points and lifting the blockade and to guarantee a continuous and adequate flow of aid through the humanitarian corridor in Rafah; urges the Israeli authorities to allow the international press to follow events on the ground;

7.  Considers that an immediate resumption of the Agreement on Movement and Access (AMA) and of the Agreed Principles for Rafah Crossing (APRC), concluded in September 2005 by Israel and the Palestinian Authority after the unilateral disengagement by Israel of the Gaza Strip, must be guaranteed without restriction, and calls on the Council to resume the EU Monitoring Mission at Rafah;

8.  Calls on the Council and the Commission and other international donors, in cooperation with the United Nations and NGOs, to provide adequate aid in view of increasing needs, and asks Israel not to undermine this essential humanitarian effort; points out that this aid must contribute to a gradual resumption of basic economic recovery in the Strip and to the restoration of decent living conditions for Palestinians, in particular young people;

9.  Reaffirms that there is no military solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and takes the view that it is time for a lasting and comprehensive peace agreement based on the negotiations that have been conducted so far by the two sides;

10.  Calls for an international conference, promoted by the Quartet and with the participation of all regional actors, on the basis of the previous agreement reached between Israelis and Palestinians and on the Arab League initiative;

11.  Stresses the high importance of renewing the efforts for inter-Palestinian reconciliation and underlines, in this connection, the need for a permanent geographical connection between, and a peaceful and lasting political reunification of, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank;

12.  Stresses once again that any upgrading of political relations between the EU and Israel must be strongly conditional on respect for international humanitarian law, genuine commitment to a comprehensive peace settlement, the end of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and respect for full implementation of the EC-PLO Interim Association Agreement; states that as long as the situation remains so critical it will maintain its negative position on the vote of assent to further participation of Israel in EC programmes;

13.  Is worried by the serious impact of the resurgence of the conflict on the political prospects for the region and hopes of a lasting peace in the whole Middle East; underlines that the impact of these serious tensions could jeopardise mutual understanding and dialogue between communities in placeEurope;

14.  Calls for a stronger and more united political stance on the part of the European Union and invites the Council to take the opportunity to cooperate with the new US Administration in order to put an end to the conflict with an agreement based on the two‑state solution, giving Israelis and Palestinians the chance to live side by side in peace within secure and internationally recognised borders, with the aim of building a peaceful new regional security structure in the Middle East;

15.  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 Palestinian Authority, the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Israeli Government, the Knesset, and the Egyptian Government and Parliament.

(1) Texts adopted: P6_TA(2006)0492.
(2) Texts adopted: P6_TA(2007)0350.
(3) Texts adopted: P6_TA(2007)0430.
(4) Texts adopted: P6_TA(2008)0064.

Last updated: 13 January 2009Legal notice