CEPR delegation meets Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the Jordanian Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in Amman.
CEPR Delegation to Occupied West Bank and Jordan
In October 2010, the CEPR organised a delegation of European parliamentarians and lobbyists, led by British MP Sir Gerald Kaufman which traveled to the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Jordan. The delegation met with the Jordanian government and Palestinian parliamentarians and civilians.
Although the siege of Gaza has dominated news reports about Palestinian territories in recent years, the situation in the West Bank remains grave as Israel continues to disregard its obligations under international law - specifically the Fourth Geneva Convention. In relation to the protection of civilians in time of war, Article 49 states: 'The occupying power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own population into the territories it occupies.'
As this report shows, delegates observed a number of forms of discrimination against Palestinians, stemming from Israel’s violation of international law, which they repeatedly identified as apartheid. The delegation witnessed how Palestinians’ freedom of movement, already severely restricted by an estimated 500 roadblocks and checkpoints, has been further curtailed by the separation barrier. Constructed of concrete and metal the wall has also been described as an apartheid measure which segregates, displaces and imprisons Palestinians living in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
The delegation witnessed violations of international law regarding deportations/transfer of population. For example, in Jerusalem, the party met with three elected officials of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) who had taken refuge in the International Red Cross (IRC) building. The three had been sheltering for 123 days, at the time of the visit, after Israel issued expulsion orders.
As well as visiting Jerusalem, the delegation toured Hebron, Bethlehem Ramallah, where they met with elected Palestinian parliamentarians from various parties. The delegation held meetings in Amman, Jordan with the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister to inform them of their experiences in the West Bank and to hear about the Jordanian role in working towards peace.
Click below to read full the report by CEPR Parliamentary Officer Tom Charles.