Israel's barbaric and intolerable murder of a senior Palestinian minister while he took part in a peaceful demonstration in the West Bank has been condemned by GUE/NGL MEPs today.

Minister Ziad Abu Ein, whose remit covered dealing with Israeli settlements and the separation wall, was beaten to death this morning by IDF Occupation Forces while he planted olive trees as a symbol of hope in the village of Turmus Ayya, near Ramallah.

“The killing of Minister Abu Ein is a disgrace and a crime against the Palestinian people he represented,” said GUE/NGL MEP Martina Anderson, Chair of Parliament's Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council (DPLC). “We in the DPLC have worked with Minister Abu Ein in the past and I'm shocked and disgusted by the attack today that claimed his life.”

The Irish MEP continued: “His killing emphasises the injustice of the Israeli occupation and the culture of impunity that persists. The Israeli Government must bring those responsible for his killing today to justice. The international community, including EU member states, needs to act to protect the Palestinian people by ensuring Israel stops committing war crimes and ends the occupation. The EU can play a role by suspending its association agreement with Israel.”

For GUE/NGL Vice-President Patrick Le Hyaric, sanctions must be taken against the Israeli government.

The French MEP added: “It's hardly coincidental that the Minister responsible for dealing with Israeli settlers and the problems they cause was killed.

“The daily violence that occurs under Israeli occupation cannot go on. International law must be respected, the occupation must end and a Palestine state with East Jerusalem as its capital must by recognised by the international community. The GUE/NGL expresses its condolences to Minister Abu Ein's family and friends, and to the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian people.”

Cypriot GUE/NGL MEP Neoklis Sylikiotis said: “It is with great sorrow that we have received the devastating news of the death of Minister Ziad Abu Ein, who had been in charge of the Israeli settlements file. Abu Ein was killed by Israeli troops while marking International Human Rights day by planting olive trees to symbolise the hope for peace and justice. We would like to express our support, condolences and words of sympathy to Abu Ein's family, to the Palestinian people and its leadership. Abu Ein's death is another example of Israeli troops' cruel and illegal actions against the Palestinians.

“It is imperative that the international community stops turning a blind eye to Israel's destructive aggression against the Palestinian people and its of violation of international human rights law. Today, more than ever, an independent, viable and sovereign Palestinian state needs to be recognised alongside Israel, on the borders of 4th June 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Pressure must be put on Israel to force it to accept a final and comprehensive settlement through talks in line with this framework.

“We call again on the EU, but also the entire international community, to condemn the crimes of Israel and to demand Israel's full compliance in a road map for peace; we call on the EU and the international community to stop the impunity of Israel and immediately end the occupation.”

GUE/NGL Press Contacts:
Emily Macintosh +32 470 85 05 08
Gay Kavanagh +32 473 84 23 20
European United Left / Nordic Green Left
European Parliamentary Group

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