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Israeli-Palestinian conflict: violence escalation in Gaza

Updated on 28 August 2014 / available in English, French and German.
Israelisch-palästinensischer Konflikt: Gewalteskalation im Gazastreifen
Conflit israélo-palestinien: escalade de la violence à Gaza

In the light of the recent violence escalation in Gaza in the context of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, some citizens requested information about the position of the European Parliament, and called on the European Union to take action.

The European Parliament is following closely the developments in the Middle East and has urged Israel and Palestine and the international community on several occasions to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine.

Gaza ceasefire agreement

Israelis and Palestinians agreed on an indefinite ceasefire as of 27 August 2014. European Parliament’s President, Martin Schulz, welcomed the agreement and called on all parties to comply fully with the terms agreed. “The European Union and the international community now have to step up efforts to tackle the urgent humanitarian needs, the security concerns of both Israelis and Palestinians and the reconstruction of Gaza”, Martin Schulz said in a statement.

European Parliament’s debates and resolutions

Israeli-Palestinian conflict

© Jonathan Stutz / Fotolia

With regard to the recent violence in the Gaza Strip, a debate was held in the plenary session on 16 July 2014, in which MEPs called for an immediate ceasefire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Speaking on behalf of the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs Catherine Ashton, Italian foreign affairs under-secretary Benedetto Della Vedova, condemned “the indiscriminate launching of rockets towards Israel by militant groups in the Gaza Strip”, adding that “the Union deplores the growing number of civilian victims coming from the Israeli military operation”.

Moreover, on 17 July the European Parliament voted on a resolution on the escalation of violence between Israel and Palestine, in which it “calls 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”.

The European Parliament reiterated in the resolution 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. More information is available in Parliament’s press release.

In a previous resolution of 23 October 2013 on the European Neighbourhood Policy, the European Parliament also reiterated its support of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians (see paragraph 84).

Recent developments are also discussed in European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) and within European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Israel, dedicated to international relations between the European Parliament and this country, focusing on the “parliamentary dimension”, i.e. the relations with the Knesset.

EU humanitarian aid in the Gaza Strip

The European Commission announced on 25 July 2014 that it is giving an additional 5 million Euro to support emergency relief operations in the Gaza Strip where a humanitarian crisis is becoming more dramatic by the day.

EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva urged the parties to the conflict to ensure safe and full humanitarian access. “It is crucial that assistance reaches these people in desperate need.”

Updates on EU’s actions and initiatives

The latest information on developments in the conflict between Israel and Palestine and the respective declarations and decisions at European level are available on the website of the European External Action Service (EEAS).

Any questions on this issue or another EP-related concern? Please use our web form. You write, we answer.

About Ask EP

The Citizens' Enquiries Unit provides information on the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament. You ask, we answer.

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