On International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, GUE/NGL MEP and Chair of the European Parliament Delegation for Relations with Palestine Neoklis Sylikiotis says:
“This day reminds us of our collective failure to bring justice to the Palestinian people who, since 1948, have suffered dispossession, protracted conflict and denial of human rights.
“Standing in solidarity with the Palestinian people means supporting their full list of rights under international law, including the right to self-determination and the right of return for refugees. It means opposing the international impunity afforded to Israel, which has allowed for continued settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, robbing Palestinians of their land and breaking territorial contiguity. It means standing with the Palestinians in Gaza Strip against the illegal blockade that has decimated the economy and their societal fabric.
“Israel’s plans are clear to the world: to break the geographical and political unity of Palestinians so that their aspirations for self-determination are not realised. If the international community is sincere in their support for a sovereign and viable Palestinian state it must redouble its effort to make it a reality, not only in paper, but through concrete steps.
“Israel will not go back to the table unless it is forced to do so. This means that the EU must end business as usual with Israel by suspending the Association Agreement until Israel shows true commitment to respect for human rights, as per Article 2. It is high time for the EU and the member states to recognise an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
“We reiterate our support for the two-state solution according to UN Resolution 242, with Palestinians and Israelis living side-by-side in peace and security, and a Palestinian state that is viable, contiguous and sovereign.
“The GUE/NGL stands with the Palestinian people, for human rights and justice.”