20th November 2006
Jill Evans MEP
Here is the report on my recent visit to Palestine and Israel. Below also is the statement prepared jointly by 10 MEPs who participated, giving our response to the visit.
We, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, recently returned from a fact finding mission to Israel and Palestine, are shocked and appalled by what we have seen and experienced in Gaza.Due to economic sanctions, almost all public institutions have shut down. The hospitals are overcrowded and receive neither money nor sufficient medicine.
The public employees have not been paid for months. The doctors told us that some deadly injuries are not caused by traditional weapons but most likely by new experimental chemical weapons. More amputations than ever are necessary. They have not had the time to examine the dead bodies yet as they are busy dealing with the wounds of those who have survived.
The closure of Rafah and Karni crossing for people and goods has turned Gaza into an open air prison. Recently, Gaza has seen horrible carnage.
We call upon Israel to stop the violation of human rights and repeated breaches of the Geneva Convention.
We call for a complete ceasefire by Israel, an immediate withdrawal of troops from Gaza and an end to the military incursion in the West Bank.
We strongly object to the description by Israel of those it has killed as “terrorists”.
We call and insist that the EU should review the association agreement and consider imposition of sanctions on Israel unless it ceases the killing of civilians and the violation of human rights, thus complying with article 2 of the association agreement.
We urge Hamas and Fatah and all the democratic Palestinian forces, even under these circumstances, not to stop their efforts to form a Unity Government as already agreed on the document of national reconciliation which recognizes the 1967 borders of the state of Palestine and Israel and to take every possible measure to halt the firing of Qassam rockets.
We call upon the EU to open dialogue with all the Palestinian national institutions and to put pressure on the Israeli government to release the tax revenues confiscated from the Palestinian government.
We ask the UN and the quartet to send international forces to protect the Palestinian and Israeli civilian populations, while calling for an international conference with all the parties involved reaching a comprehensive and just peace for the area.
MEP Luisa Morgantini (Italy), GUE/NGL
MEP Vincenzo Aita (Italy) GUE/NGL
MEP Allesandro Battilocchio (Italy), N.I.
MEP John Bowis (UK), EPP-ED
MEP Chris Davies (UK), ALDE
MEP Jill Evans (UK), GREEN/EFA
MEP Hélène Flautre (France), GREEN/EFA
MEP Miguel Portas (Portugal), GUE/NGL
MEP Karin Resetarits (Austria), ALDE
MEP Alyn Smith (UK), GREEN/EFA
MP Norman Paech (Germany), Die Linke