In a European Parliament debate on the recognition of Palestine statehood this afternoon, GUE/NGL MEPs underlined that they strongly support a Palestinian state.

A crucial vote on the matter will take place at the next plenary session in December.

Irish MEP Martina Anderson, Chair of Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the Palestine Legislative Council, said: “135 countries already recognise Palestinian statehood; this includes eight EU member states. The Israeli onslaught in Gaza this summer has shown that the status quo is not acceptable to the millions we represent and who protested. And it shouldn't be acceptable to anyone who genuinely supports a peaceful and just resolution.

“Those who claim that recognising Palestinian statehood would negatively impact on future negotiations ignore the reality that 20 years of negotiations have advanced little and have reinforced Israel's occupation which consistently undermines the two-state solution through settlement expansion and land confiscation.”

Cypriot MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis commented: “The decision being taken by increasing numbers of countries to recognise Palestine is sending an important message of support to the struggle of the Palestinian people against occupation.

“Unfortunately, certain groups in this Parliament have voted against the idea of a resolution recognising a Palestinian state. We would like to see a sustainable Palestinian state being established based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, where people would take decisions for themselves and the state would enjoy peace and security alongside Israel.

“The situation in the region is becoming increasingly dangerous. The continuing occupation is one of the main causes of this conflict, Israel continues to expand its settlements and the fundamental human rights of Palestinians are being trampled on.”

French MEP Patrick Le Hyaric said: “Recognising the Palestinian state would be a strong act in favour of peace and justice. What we need is a state for the Palestinian people. Since the Oslo process there has been deadlock and now there is a need for us to lean on international law. The European Parliament should be on the side of the 135 states that have already recognised the Palestinian state. Such recognition would be in the interests of the Israeli people too.”

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