A group of European parliamentarians from national parliaments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Spain and Sweden and the European Parliament have written to US President-elect Joe Biden urging him to work with Europe to promote Palestine-Israel peace based on international law.
“We, European national Parliamentarians and members of the European Parliament, come from parties across the political spectrum, united in our concern for equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians. We know that you share our concern for peace with justice and mutual security,” the politicians wrote in the letter.
“Israel has signed up to many international conventions, freely assuming the rights and responsibilities they entail. Settlements and house demolitions are a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions. All Israeli settlements are illegal under international law – Ramat Shlomo, Ariel, or wherever. All the land occupied by Israel in June 1967 – Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem – is occupied Palestinian territory. Acquisition of land by force is illegal.
Equally wrong and just as dangerous is de facto annexation through systematic and accelerating settlement expansion, including in Givat Hamatos and E1 – intended to make two states impossible – and the destruction of Palestinian communities like Khirbet Humsa. Settlement expansion needs to stop: it is designed to deprive a people of the right to self-determination and statehood.” The letter said that under Biden leadership, “we hope and trust that the United States will be a fair mediator, meriting the confidence of both sides. « Do no harm » is a good, prudent precept for the future – but action is urgently needed to undo the harm done in the last 4 years and even now to the rule of law, equal rights and the chances of peaceful coexistence. Please ensure that your Administration implements UN Security Council Resolution 2334, inter alia by reversing the decision to allow US Government funding to assist research in illegal settlements.” It added: “We respectfully ask you to reaffirm what is right, and needed if we are to live by international law: that our shared aim is two sovereign states based on the June 1967 line with mutually agreed equivalent land swaps, Jerusalem as the shared capital of both states, an end to the 1967 occupation, security arrangements meeting the needs of both peoples, a just agreement for refugees and equal rights for all inhabitants between the Sea and the River Jordan.”