International Crisis Group / August 23, 2022
What’s new ? The European Union and its member states say they remain committed to their stated two-state objective in Israel-Palestine, contending that the cost of changing their approach would be too high in light of more pressing foreign policy priorities. Yet Israel’s de facto annexation of the occupied territories continues apace.
Why does it matter ? European policy appears increasingly out of tune with the reality on the ground. As the conflict’s frequent outbursts suggest, this approach can only harm Europe’s interests in keeping the door open to a negotiated solution and avoiding regular bouts of violence that could get ever harder to contain.
What should be done ? A better approach would entail Europe taking steps to check the Palestinian Authority’s authoritarian drift, reviewing its no-contact policy toward the Islamist group Hamas and pressing for Palestinian political renewal. Europe might also link cooperation and trade with Israel to progress toward a two-state solution and protection of Palestinian rights.
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