European Parliament supports Palestine’s “legitimate” bid for statehood

The illegal settlement of Ariel, one out of the four largest settlements in the West Bank

The European Parliament called Palestine’s bid for statehood “legitimate” in a resolution passed on Thursday (29th September), and said that a solution should be found within a year. MEPs believe, however, that Palestinian statehood should result from negotiations, during the current UN General Assembly session.”The right of Palestinians to self-determination and to have their own state is unquestionable, as is the right of Israel to exist within safe borders”, says the resolution, adopted by a show of hands.

1967 borders, Jerusalem as capital

Parliament reiterates its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as capital of both states, and stresses that direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians should resume without delay.

The resolution underlines that “no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be accepted”.

Common EU position needed

Parliament calls on the EU’s foreign affairs High Representative and Member States to find a common EU position on the Palestinian request and to avoid divisions among Member States. MEPs also underline that Member States and the international community should reconfirm their strong commitment to the security of the Israel.

Stop settlement construction

Parliament calls on the Israeli Government to stop all construction and extension of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. MEPs also insist that rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip should cease and a permanent truce should be agreed.

The full text of the resolution is below:

Situation in Palestine

European Parliament resolution of 29 September 2011 on the situation in Palestine

The European Parliament,

  • having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle East,
  • having regard to the Council conclusions on the Middle East Peace Process of 8 December 2009, 13 December 2010, and 18 July 2011,
  • having regard to the Charter of the United Nations,
  • having regard to pertinent UN resolutions, UN General Assembly Resolutions 181 (1947) and 194 (1948), and UN Security Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008),
  • having regard to the Middle East Quartet statements and in particular that of 23 September 2011,
  • having regard to Rule 110 (2) of its Rules of Procedure
  1. whereas on the occasion of the 66th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, asked for recognition of Palestinian statehood and membership of the UN;
  2. whereas Palestine is a non-member permanent observer entity at the UN General Assembly;
  3. whereas, in its Resolution 181 of 29 November 1947, the UN General Assembly called  for the creation of two states on the territory of the former Mandate for Palestine;
  4. whereas the EU has repeatedly confirmed its support for the two-state solution with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security, called for the resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and declared that no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be recognised;
  5. whereas, according to assessments of the World Bank, the IMF and the UN, the Palestinian Authority is above the threshold for a functioning state in the key sectors they studied, and Palestinian institutions compare favourably with those in established states;
  6. whereas the right of Palestinians to self-determination and to have their own state is unquestionable as is the right of Israel to exist within safe borders;
  7. whereas the ‘Arab Spring’ has made it even more urgent to find a solution to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict, which is in the fundamental interest of the parties involved, of all the peoples in the region and of the international community;
  8. whereas at the informal meeting on 2 and 3 September 2011 Ministers of Foreign Affairs of EU Member States presented different positions when discussing the Middle East peace process and the relevant diplomatic initiatives envisaged during the September Session of the United Nations General Assembly;
  1. Calls on the High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission and the governments of the EU Member States to continue their efforts to find a common EU position on the request by the Palestinian Authority for UN membership, and to avoid divisions among Member States;
  2. Supports and calls on Member States to be united in addressing the legitimate demand of the Palestinians to be represented as a state at the United Nations as a result of negotiations to be concluded during the current 66th session of the UN General Assembly;
  3. Calls, at the same time, on the international community, including the EU and its Member States, to reconfirm their strong commitment to the security of the State of Israel;
  4. Reiterates its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as capital of both states, with the State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security;
  5. Acknowledges and welcomes the success of state-building efforts by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, which have been supported by the EU and endorsed by various international actors;
  6. Stresses again that peaceful and non-violent means are the only way to achieve a sustainable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict;
  7. Stresses that direct negotiations leading to a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians should be resumed without delay and according to the deadlines called for by the Quartet, in order to overcome the unacceptable status quo; stresses again that all steps that may undermine the prospects of a negotiated agreement should be avoided and that no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be accepted; insists on the fact that any resulting resolution should not affect the dignity of either side; calls on the Israeli Government to stop all construction and extension of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; calls for a cessation of rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip and insists on the need for a permanent truce;
  8. Urges the EU and its Member States to have a united position and to continue to play a more active role, also within the Quartet, in the efforts aimed at achieving a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians; stresses the central role of the Quartet and fully supports the High Representative in her efforts for the Quartet to create a credible perspective for the re-launching of the peace process;
  9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the President of the UN General Assembly, the governments and parliaments of members of the UN Security Council, the Middle East Quartet Envoy, the Knesset and the Government of Israel, the President of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council.