A European Parliament hearing on the situation of children in the armed conflict in Gaza saw GUE/NGL MEPs insist that Parliament push for an immediate end to the Israeli occupation.

GUE/NGL MEP Pablo Iglesias said: “This is not just a humanitarian problem, it is a political problem. Israel has occupied Palestine since 1967 and refuses to implement UN resolutions condemning its actions.

13 GUE/NGL MEPs took part in a fact-finding delegation to Palestine last week, but were denied entry to Gaza by the Israeli authorities.

Iglesias continued: “We can't grieve for these mutilated children while EU states continue to buy and sell armaments with Israel.

“We represent citizens, this is not a university debating society; we need to demand an end to the sale of arms to Israel. We've got to be fearless in calling for economic sanctions. And Israeli authorities must allow MEPs to enter Gaza.”

GUE/NGL MEP Marisa Matias said: “Nothing will be resolved until we end occupation. The EU has been complicit in war crimes. Despite the fact the EU doesn't recognise the occupied territories it continues to make deals with Israel as if nothing was happening.

“Israel is always in a state of exception and impunity regardless of the crimes committed. People in Gaza and across the occupied territories are experiencing apartheid. The EU simply must suspend the EU association agreement.”

The hearing took place in Parliament's subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI) today.

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