London/Brussels, May 14, 2012
CEPR encouraged by Council of the European Union statement on Middle East peace
The Council for European Palestinian Relations (CEPR) is encouraged by the conclusions released by the Council of the European Union on the Middle East Peace Process in Brussels today.
With the aim of advancing the two-state solution by restarting the peace process, the Council of the European Union, ""recalls the applicability of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territory, including the applicability of the fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilians."
This statement is applicable to the treatment of the 5,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails as well as to the lack of access and movement within the Palestinian territories and between Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
CEPR is encouraged by EU reiterations "for the reopening of Palestinian institutions in Jerusalem in accordance with the Roadmap" and for a cessation of all Jewish settlement activity deemed "illegal under international law, irrespective of recent decisions by the government of Israel."
Also in accordance with the Roadmap, the EU calls for the dismantling of "all outposts erected since March 2001" on occupied Palestinian territory by Jewish settlers. CEPR supports the implementation of dismantling outposts as well as other illegal settlements in the occupied territories of 1967 and respecting all international agreements and standards.
Equally important for European tax-payers and Palestinian development, the "EU will continue to provide financial assistance for Palestinian development in Area C and expects such investment to be protected for future use." In reference to the continual Israel destruction of EU-funded projects, CEPR encourages a monitoring mechanism to be put in place to ensure the protection of EU-funded development projects.
CEPR Director, Dr. Arafat Shoukri claims that "these are important steps for the EU to make in ensuring that Israel meets international standards of humanitarian law and we hope to continue working closely with our European counterparts in taking these steps together."
For more information, please contact:
+32 (0)2 503 5402
+32 (0)485 432 425