EU Parliament raises its voice calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the immediate release of hostages

MEPs demand that all hostages are immediately and unconditionally released and the terrorist organisation Hamas is dismantled.

In a resolution adopted on Thursday, MEPs express their deepest sorrow over the innocent victims on both sides. They call for a permanent ceasefire and to restart efforts towards a political solution provided that all hostages are immediately and unconditionally released and the terrorist organisation Hamas is dismantled.

While condemning in the strongest possible terms the despicable terrorist attacks committed by Hamas against Israel, they also denounce the disproportionate Israeli military response, which has caused a civilian death toll on an unprecedented scale.

Israel has the right to defend itself within the limits of international law, stress MEPs, which implies that all parties in a conflict must distinguish, at all times, between combatants and civilians, that attacks must only be directed at military objectives, and that civilians and civilian objects must not be targeted in the attacks.

Urgent need for full access to the Gaza Strip

Expressing deep concern at the dire and rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, MEPs underline the urgent need for full, rapid, safe, and unhindered humanitarian access to and throughout the entire Gaza Strip and demand the immediate restoration of vital infrastructure.

Putting the two-state solution back on track

The resolution calls for a European initiative to put the two-state solution back on track and emphasises the absolute necessity of immediately relaunching the peace process. It welcomes the European Union and the Arab League’s Peace Day Effort for Middle East Peace, which was launched just before the attacks took place on 7 October.

MEPs also fully support the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, which offers a full normalisation of relations between the state of Israel and all Arab states in return for Israel’s full withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967, and urge the full inclusion of the Palestinian Authority in this respect.

End the occupation of the Palestinian territories

MEPs call for an end to the occupation of the Palestinian territories and stress that Israeli settlements in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law. They strongly condemn the rise in extremist settler violence committed against Palestinians and call for EU restrictive measures to be imposed on extremist settlers violating human rights and international law.

Those responsible for terrorist acts and for violations of international law must be held to account

Finally, the resolution underlines the EU’s strong support for the International Criminal Court’s and International Court of Justice’s work and calls for those responsible for terrorist acts and for violations of international law to be held to account. The taking of hostages and deliberate attacks on civilians are serious violations of international law, warn MEPs.

The text was adopted by 312 votes in favour, 131 against and 72 abstentions.

(Source: European Parliament)