European Parliament resolution on the situation in the Middle East


The European Parliament, having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle East Peace process, particularly its resolution of 5 October 2000, having regard to United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242, 338, 1310 and 1322, having regard to the conclusions of 8 December 2000 of the European Council meeting in Nice, having regard to the resolutions adopted by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights on 18 April 2001, having regard to the statement by the Presidency of the European Union on 18 April 2001, having regard to its resolution of 5 April 2001 on the outcome of the Stockholm European Council, having regard to the principle of the Madrid Conference on the Middle East peace process, A. alarmed by the continuing deterioration of the prospects for the peace process in the Middle East, since the region is ravaged daily by an escalation of violence, including the loss of many civilian lives, B. whereas so far it has not been possible to achieve effective implementation of any initiative to encourage a resumption of dialogue between the Israelis and Palestinians to put an end to the escalating violence, C. whereas the report of the Sharm el Shaikh Fact-Finding Committee comes to the conclusion that Israel has to freeze settlements and both parties have to halt violence unconditionally, D. whereas there is an urgent need for the European Union to adopt new initiatives to help bring an end to the violence, to build up confidence and to bring about a resumption of negotiations between the two parties, on the basis of respect for international law and the relevant United Nations resolutions, E. whereas, as declared by the EU Presidency, 'the progress made on all major issues during the last negotiations should form the basis for future talks on the permanent status', F. noting with concern the new tensions that have arisen between Israel, Syria and Lebanon, G. whereas a just, fair and lasting peace can be established only in a regional context and negotiations also have to be resumed in the Syrian and Lebanese context, H. considering the intolerable situation of the Palestinian population in the Occupied Territories, which is today the victim of an unacceptable and unfair collective punishment, I. shocked by several recent terrorist attacks against the Israeli civilian population committed by Palestinians, J. whereas several international and Palestinian-based organisations have reported the common practice of serious human rights abuses by Palestinian officials, including torture and the denial of a fair trial, K. whereas Israel has confirmed the existence of a policy of 'selecting military targets' carried out by security forces, and whereas the EU has condemned this policy of extrajudicial executions, L. pointing out, in this regard, the responsibility that Syria and Lebanon share in defusing tension and controlling extremists groups, M. whereas Israel's improper implementation of its trade-related agreements is causing the benefits of Community preferences to accrue illegally to goods produced in illegal settlements, 1. Expresses its deep consternation at the number of civilian victims as a result of conflict in the last few months; and expresses its sympathy and solidarity with the families of all the victims; 2. Rejects the use of violence, reaffirms its commitment to pursuing the dialogue and peace negotiations and considers that there is no military solution to the conflict; 3. Calls urgently on all parties concerned to put an end to violence; condemns the excessive and disproportionate use of force, extrajudicial executions by the Israeli Army in the Occupied Territories and the fact that the Occupied Territories have been totally sealed off; condemns all terrorist attacks perpetrated in Israel; calls on the Palestinian National Authority to make every effort to fight against terrorism, reduce violence and control extremists; 4. Condemns the Israeli Armys illegal incursions into the territories under the control of the Palestinian National Authority in the West Bank and Gaza; 5. Condemns the extension of settlements in the Occupied Territories, which creates a de facto situation which will make the application of future peace agreements more difficult; 6. Notes the Sharm el Shaikh Fact-Finding Committees conclusions and supports the view that all settlement, including natural growth, must be frozen; 7. Calls on the Member States, in accordance with the report, to propose to the United Nations Security Council that an observer mission be sent to the Palestinian territories; 8. Supports any initiative intended to bring about a resumption of dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians, especially from the Egyptian/Jordanian side; considers that only a resumption of dialogue and application of confidence-building measures can achieve an effective end to all violence; 9. Calls on the Israeli Government to restart negotiations by putting an end to the sealing-off of the territories and to the continuation and expansion of the settlement policy and paying back the overdue tax revenues to the Palestinian National Authority; 10. Calls on the Gothenburg European Council to work out and adopt a common strategy on the Middle East, on the basis of proposals presented by the High Representative for the CFSP, in cooperation with the EU permanent representative in the Middle East, to achieve the objective of increased effectiveness and visibility of the EUs political and diplomatic activity in the region, taking into account the several EP resolutions on this issue; 11. Regrets the attitude of some Member States at the annual meeting of the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva; believes that the abstention on the resolution condemning human rights violations in the Occupied Territories endangers the profile of the EU, undermining the overall development of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership; 12. Considers that the disproportionate use of force by the Israeli Army and the collective punishment are not in accordance with the principles of the association agreement already in force between the EU and Israel; calls therefore on the Council and Commission to assess these violations, draw the necessary conclusions and report to the European Parliament; 13. Urges the Commission and the Member States to take decisive measures to correct any violation of rules of origin by Israel under the trade agreement with the EU and to inform Parliament, so as to avoid any indirect complicity in illegal settlements; 14. Considers that future peace proposals must be based on respect for international law, on United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, on effective and complete application of the interim agreements already concluded between Israelis and Palestinians, and on what was achieved at the latest Camp David negotiations; 15. Recalls the position of the EU in favour of the creation of a viable, democratic and peaceful Palestinian state; 16. Regards it as essential, in order to achieve peace in the region, that the Lebanese Government should exercise sovereignty over its own territory, and calls on Syria and Israel to enable it to do so; 17. Calls also on all Middle East countries to cooperate effectively against terrorist networks and to reiterate their commitment to the security of all countries in the region; 18. Stresses the importance of implementing, in the whole region, an education policy aimed at promoting tolerance and mutual understanding between cultures and religions; Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Israeli Government and Parliament, the Palestinian National Authority and Legislative Council and the United Nations

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