Israel must immediately end the persecution and repression against the Palestinian people, intensified in the last weeks with the threat of eviction against the residents of Sheikh Jarrah, a Palestinian neighbourhood in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem.

“Israel has inflicted brutal violence against Palestinians in Jerusalem who are resisting their forced dispossession so settlers can take their place. This is part of Israel’s ongoing attempts to erase the Palestinian presence from the city,” said Manu Pineda, the chair of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Palestine.

“To make things worse, Israel is doubling down on its collective punishment of the besieged Gaza Strip with a ruthless bombing campaign, supported by European and American arms. Children were the first casualties of this barbarity. The EU must demand an immediate cease-fire before more lives are lost.”

Pineda said that the EU’s words of condemnation are inconsequential as long as it continues to extend a generous hand to Israel:

“In face of this increased repression and violence from Israel, we not only expect statements of condemnation from EU officials. The EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has the responsibility to move from words to action and ensure accountability for these crimes starting with unconditional support for the ongoing investigation in the ICC.

“We cannot continue having an Association Agreement with a country that systematically violates its core article on human rights. The EU must move to terminate it, along with the associated cooperation programmes, like Horizon Europe and Erasmus+. As several reports have highlighted, EU money has been used to fund entities in illegal settlements and to subsidise Israel’s arms industry.

“The EU expresses nominal opposition to Israel’s illegal settlements while allowing trade with them worth millions every year. The Commission must implement an immediate ban on trade with illegal Israeli settlements: no more settlement products in the EU’s single market!” Pineda concluded.

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