The Palestine Chronicle / June 29, 2023
The European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday called on the EU to help the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute Israel for its war crimes, in a resolution on EU-Palestinian relations.
The resolution – which passed with 41 in favor, 24 opposed and nine abstentions – said that the committee “regret[s] the limited progress on the ICC infestations in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in the occupied Palestinian territories and commit to help the ICC and its prosecutor move forward with the investigation and the prosecution”.
The measure was spearheaded by MEP Evin Incir of the Swedish Social Democrats. It is scheduled to go to a plenary vote in July.
The members of the European Parliament also added that the illegal settlements constitute a major obstacle to the viability of the two-state solution, including lasting peace and security. The committee called to “consider targeted EU measures specifically addressing settlement expansion in the West Bank.”
Moreover, the committee expressed concern against Israeli “punitive measures”, such as withholding funds from the Palestinian Authority and limiting construction in Area C, in response to the PA petitioning international legal forums.
European Parliament calls for end to Jewish settlement in the occupied territories
WAFA / June 28, 2023
BRUSSELS – The European Parliament said yesterday that Jewish settlement in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law, demanding their immediate end.
In a vote of 41 in favor, 24 against with 9 abstentions, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament adopted a set of recommendations on how the European Union (EU) should continue to engage with the Palestinian Authority (PA).
The recommendations, which will be submitted for approval by the European Parliament as a whole, with the plenary vote scheduled for July, stress that the EU should consider targeted measures specifically addressing settlement expansion in the West Bank, among other recommendations.
“Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) continue to state that Jewish settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories are illegal under international law and demand their immediate end. Pointing out that these settlements constitute a major obstacle to the viability of the two-state solution, including lasting peace and security, MEPs call for new efforts to end the latest cycle of settlement-related violence and say the EU should consider targeted measures specifically addressing settlement expansion in the West Bank,” said the MEPs in their statement.
They also expressed concern about EU policy and EU financial assistance in the Palestinian territories being undermined by illegal settlements and demanded compensation for the demolition of all EU-funded infrastructure in the area. In 2022, 101 structures funded by the EU or EU member states (valued at €337,019) were demolished or seized by Israeli authorities.
MEPs also asked the EU to commission a legal opinion assessing the political and economic consequences of the Israeli move to transfer broad authority over civilian issues in the West Bank to the Israeli Finance Minister, which would enable the deepening of Israel’s presence on the Palestinian territories.
“The Palestinian people have lived under occupation for more than 50 years. EU must show its true commitment through a strengthening of its cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and acting to end the occupation,” said rapporteur Evin Incir (S&D, Sweden) after the vote.
In line with its commitment to a two-state solution, the EU should establish a more regular political dialogue with the Palestinian Authority and launch negotiations on a full Association Agreement between the EU and Palestine as soon as possible, and convene an Association Council.
The EU has had such an Association Agreement with Israel since 2000.