Israel Must End Occupation, says European Parliament Delegation

RAMALLAH, May 2, 2013 (WAFA) – A European Parliament (EP) delegation called on the European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and Member States to insist that Israel ends to the illegal policies preventing a resumption of negotiations to end the occupation, said an EP press release Thursday.

The delegation from EP’s Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council conducted a six-day visit to East Jerusalem and the West Bank that started on April 27, taking in the “Freedom and Dignity” conference in Ramallah on the subject of Palestinian prisoners and people.

EP passed a resolution on March 14, 2013 expressing concern about the conditions under which prisoners are being held in Israeli prisons and called for a fact-finding mission to “assess the current situation.”

It concluded that the prisoners’ issue “is inextricably linked to the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the region.”

The delegation stated, after witnessing how Palestinians are denied basic rights and freedoms, that Palestinians’ freedom has been crushed by the occupation.

The delegation listed a number of Israeli violations relating to freedom of movement, freedom to live without harassment, freedom to develop homes and land, freedom to live peacefully, and freedom to walk and drive on the same streets as Israelis.

They also referred to violations relating to freedom of governors, mayors and the business community to develop the economic sustainability of their towns and villages.

The delegation expressed concern that such actions are part of a strategic plan by the Israelis to force Palestinians off their land and remove their residency rights, particularly in the Jerusalem area.

The plan along with the Separation Wall, said the release, has resulted in the agreed boundary based on the 1967 borders being pushed back even further, effectively annexing large tracts of Palestinian lands as agreed by the Oslo Accords in 1993.

The delegation praised Palestinians commitment to non-violent resistance in pursuit of their right to self-determination and statehood, affirming that they still need the political will and financial support of the international community.

Source: WAFA News