Monday’s EU resolution which calls again on Israel to end settlement activity in the West Bank must be followed with action to ensure this happens, Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s interim director, Sara Apps, says today.
Ms Apps said: “PSC welcomes the EU’s reiteration of the illegality of the settlements under international law, and its emphasis that EU agreements with Israel are invalid in the territories occupied since 1967.
“These strong words must now be accompanied by strong actions which put real pressure on the Israeli state to stop settlement building and to end the occupation.”
The resolution was agreed on unanimously by the 28 EU foreign ministers and follows on from last year’s EU guidelines which encourage EU member states to ensure that goods produced in Israeli settlements are labelled as settlement products, not Israeli, when sold.
The resolution also condemns the building of Israel’s separation wall beyond the 1967 line and the demolition of Palestinian buildings and infrastructure, including EU-funded projects.
Ms Apps said: “The EU should not stop at mere words of condemnation and criticism. The Palestinian people, who are suffering every day under occupation, need more. They need resolutions such as this to be backed up with enforcement in order to have any real meaning.”
Ms Apps said she was disappointed that the EU resolution failed to support the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) on Israel.
She said: “The call for BDS is a peaceful one which comes from Palestinian civil society. It is a non-violent means of putting pressure on Israel to accept and live by international law. In its failure to support this call, the EU is rejecting the wishes of the Palestinian people and passing up an opportunity to translate its words of condemnation of Israel’s illegal activities into positive action to actually put a stop to those illegal activities.”
This media release was sent to national and international media on 19/01/2016