• 17-JUL-2014

  • SOURCE: S&D Group at European Parliament

GAZA: MEPs call for an immediate ceasefire (ready-to-air)

The Socialist & Democrat Group reiterates its call for an immediate end to hostilities in a resolution adopted today in Strasbourg. Convinced that further escalation of this crisis can only bring more suffering to both Israelis and Palestinians, S&D Members also supported a demonstration held yesterday in front of the European Parliament against the resurgence of violence in Gaza.

Led by the Israeli Yoav Shemer-Kunz, the action aimed at calling the EU to ensure the immediate stop of all military operations and the launching of bombs and rockets against civilians.

S&D Members, deeply concerned about the downward spiral of the Gaza crisis, added their voices to the demonstrators and strengthened their call for a two-State solution.

Richard Howitt, Member of the Foreign Affairs EP Committee said :

"On behalf of the S&D Group, it's our duty to be there, to show solidarity with them and to join their cause, and for them to join ours, to stop this unnecessary violence and for an immediate ceasfire to protect the people of Gaza and of Israel."

MEP Ana Gomes added:

"We believe that only by having a safe and viable Palestinian State next to it, will Israel be able to insure his survival."

Following the vote of the resolution, S&D vice-president Victor Boştinaru MEP said today:

"We call for an immediate de-escalation of the conflict through an end to the rocket attacks from Gaza and the Israeli military operation, and the resolution adopted today in plenary with a large majority makes the European Parliament's position on this clear.

"We welcome today's temporary humanitarian cease-fire, which may be a first step on this path. We also support all efforts towards a permanent truce, and we regret Hamas' decision to reject the Egyptian initiative, which was accepted by the Israeli government.

"International humanitarian law must be respected by all sides involved in the conflict. Rocket attacks targeting civilians and the use of human shields by Hamas and Palestinian militants cannot be justified. Israel has to fully respect its obligations under international law as well, including the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure in the Gaza Strip.

"Both Israeli and Palestinian citizens have the right to live in peace and security. This can only be achieved through peace talks. Therefore, we call for serious and credible efforts by both sides and the international community to resume direct talks and to achieve concrete and tangible results.

"The European Union has a major role to play in this field. Therefore, we call for a European peace initiative and plan, and for the use of all the legal, economic and political leverage at the EU's disposal to find a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.