GUE/NGL MEPs called on the EU to suspend its Association Agreement with Israel during a debate on the situation in the West Bank following a briefing by Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign policy chief.

Irish MEP Martina Anderson, Chair of the European Parliament's Delegation for relations with Palestine, said:

“The EU must suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement until Israel dismantles the illegal settlements, ends the occupation of Palestine, and begins a genuine peace process for a lasting peace and a sustainable two-state solution.”

“EU-Israel relations must be made conditional on respect for, and compliance with, international law. Israel has been warned that demolitions and settlement construction will harm EU-Israel relations – but where’s the action?”

Anderson noted that some Israeli settlers committing violence are also EU nationals and must be held accountable:

“There are now 800,000 Israeli settlers living illegally on occupied Palestinian land, in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. Some settlers involved in violence have citizenship of EU member states and they are violating international law and international humanitarian law.”

“Israel’s settlements are not only illegal under international humanitarian law – they are a war crime. Israel must be put under actual pressure – not just words,” she added.

Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis argued that the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory is inhumane:

“Raids by the occupying army, the demolition of property including homes and schools, the prevalence of gun violence, attacks by settlers against civilians, the imprisonment of children, murders and persecution. This is the daily reality faced by the Palestinian people.”

“While we continue talking, Israel continues to pillage Palestinian natural resources and to violate their human rights. This year alone, Israel destroyed over 1 000 Palestinian structures, over half of them financed with EU money.”

“Israel’s criminal actions show they are against any attempt by the EU to support the Palestinians,” Sylikiotis concluded.

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