In the resolution adopted on Thursday with 500 votes in favour, 21 against and 24 abstentions, MEPs strongly condemn the brutal attacks, express their support to Israel and its people and underline the need to “eliminate the terrorist organisation Hamas”. They also call for the immediate release of all hostages kidnapped by Hamas and recognise Israel’s right to self-defence “as enshrined in and constrained by international law”. As such, any actions by Israel must strictly comply with international humanitarian law, the text states. Parliament also stresses that both the attacks by Hamas and the Israeli response risk reinforcing a cycle of violence in the region. MEPs therefore call for a “humanitarian pause” of the fighting and stress that attacking civilians and civilian infrastructure, including UN workers, medical workers and journalists, is a serious violation of international law.
They also deeply mourn the loss of hundreds of innocent lives and those injured at the recent blast at the Al Ahli episcopal hospital in Gaza. The resolution calls for an independent investigation under international law to establish whether this was a deliberate attack and a war crime and, if so, calls for the perpetrators to be held accountable.
Parliament deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip
Expressing serious concern over the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip, Parliament emphasises the importance of differentiating between the Palestinian people and their legitimate aspirations on the one side, and the Hamas terrorist group on the other. MEPs urge the international community to continue and increase its humanitarian assistance to the civilian population in the area. They call on Egypt and Israel to cooperate with the international community to establish humanitarian corridors to the Gaza Strip.
Investigation into the role of countries such as Iran, Qatar and Russia in the conflict
The resolution strongly condemns Iran’s support to Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza strip. MEPs reiterate their call to include the entirety of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Lebanese Hezbollah on the EU list of terrorist groups and demand investigations into the role of Iran and countries such as Qatar and Russia in financing and supporting terrorism in the region.
They also denounce the rocket attacks from Lebanon and Syria into Israel and call for a de-escalation of tensions in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
EU financial assistance to Palestine
While voicing strong support for stepping up the humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip, MEPs also urge the European Commission to thoroughly review all EU financial assistance to Palestine and the region in order to ensure that no EU funds directly or indirectly finance terrorism. At the same time, they underline that the EU budget must continue to provide support to building peace and stability in the area.
Parliament firmly behind a negotiated two-state solution
Stressing the need to immediately relaunch the peace-process, the resolution reiterates its unwavering support for a negotiated two-state solution for Israel and Palestine on the basis of the 1967 lines with two sovereign, democratic states living side by side in peace and guaranteed security, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states.
Concerns over rising anti-Semitism
Parliament finally voices its concern over the increase in anti-Semitic speech, rallies and attacks directed at Jews since the beginning of Hamas’ terrorist attacks. It calls on the European Commission and on all EU countries to take all appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of Jewish citizens.