PA welcomes the European Union’s Council Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process

Statement by the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ramallah, May 15 2012 

The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomes the European Union’s Council Conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process adopted at the Foreign Affairs Council’s meeting of May 14th, 2012.

The Ministry especially welcomes the Council’s emphasis on the need to heed the aspirations of the Palestinian people for statehood as a crucial element for lasting peace, stability and prosperity in the region. This emphasis comes at the eve of al-Nakbah when Palestinians commemorate their forced exodus and express their determination to achieve their right to self-determination.

We strongly believe that resolving the conflict based on the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, the Madrid principles including land for peace, the Roadmap, the agreements concluded by the parties and the Arab Peace Initiative is in the best interest of the entire region and the world at large. The Palestinian Authority remains committed to the two-state solution based on the above-mentioned terms of reference.

We continue to call on our neighbors to reciprocate such commitment in order to advance a substantive peace process and negotiations in good faith. We reiterate our commitments to ensure peace and security through ending a conflict that inflicts pain and destruction on both sides. Meanwhile, we continue to be alarmed by the fact that a peace settlement cannot be reached with the current Israeli acceleration of settlement construction, legalization of settlements outposts, and the relocation of settlers from Migron as such policies stand in stark contravention to the Roadmap.

The Israeli policies in East Jerusalem, including the ongoing evictions, house demolitions, changes to the residency status as well as expansions of settlements within and around the city and denying Palestinians their connection to the city and the deterioration of the living conditions for Palestinians living in Area C which represents 60% of the West Bank need to stop.

Israel cannot be allowed to continue its attempts to jeopardize the achievements of the PA in state-building. The international community must put pressure on Israel to end such policies as they only contribute to the deterioration of the two-state solution based on the 1967 border which is the worldwide accepted path to establish peace and security in the region.

The European Union and the Quartet must adopt policies to ensure that Israeli settlement activity is stopped and that international law and human rights law are implemented. The PA hopes that concrete steps will be adopted by all EU members and the Commission to implement the existing EU legislation and the bilateral agreements applicable to settlement products.  We call on EU states to adopt steps that will ensure Palestinian continued official presence in East Jerusalem and that the EU policy on the city is reinforced.

EU countries need to promote economic development and increase visibility and accountability for the delivery of aid in Area C. Palestinian steps to have access to fair and non-discriminatory zoning and planning rights in Area C must be encouraged and supported by the EU countries. Once again we welcome the EU statement and its continued commitment to peace and security in our region and we continue to be grateful for the EU’s partnership and continued support in our state-building efforts.

Our commitment to peace is unwavering and we will continue to work with our European partners to build our institutions and to reform them. We recognize that incitement is a concern as we have lately been exposed to all kinds of incitement and violence; therefore we call upon the EU and Israel to reactivate the Anti-Incitement Trilateral Committee to ensure that such acts are prohibited on all sides. In this regard, we have requested several times through international dignitaries to revive the work of the committee and were met by an Israeli rejection.