For a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians

The European Left urges for an immediate cessation of violence in Israel and in the Palestinian territories. The indiscriminate targeting of civilian populations violates international law. This applies to the massacres operated by Hamas or Islamic Jihad, but also to the bombardments of residential buildings by the Israeli Army.

For decades, Palestinians have been living under perpetual illegal colonization and occupation, facing a cruel apartheid policy applied by the Israeli authorities. This reality also reflects the failure of the international community and especially the US and the EU, to push forward a viable peace process and contribute to the resolution of the conflict.

Since the Oslo Accords 30 years ago Israel has exploited the Accords to expand into the West Bank while keeping Gaza under siege. Nearly a million Israeli settlers have been gradually transferred to settlements in the West Bank securing an unending Israeli colonization of the area.

This severe situation has intensified in particular since the new extreme right wing Israeli government under Netanyahu came to power, with Palestinian towns and villages under attack by settlers and the Israeli army, increasing clashes and Israeli bombing of Gaza. The governmental programme openly states that the Jewish people have an “exclusive and inalienable right to all parts of the land of Israel”, making it the basis for a final colonization of the West Bank. The suppression of the Palestinian people has created an explosive environment. Nevertheless, this cannot justify the attacks, assassinations and kidnappings carried out by Hamas against the Israeli civilian population, which constitute war crimes that we condemn unreservedly. Just as the bombings and other retaliation by Israel against all Palestinians in Gaza, mostly civilian, constitute war crimes. We oppose attempts to punish the whole Palestinian population for the attack by Hamas on Israel.

As declared by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – Israel is now at war. This may mean not only with hundreds, but very possibly thousands of deaths. There is also the risk of an all-out regional war with the involvement of Lebanon and Iran, which might also trigger the involvement of US and other western forces that reside in the Middle East. We oppose such a dangerous and destabilizing escalation scenario and we call for the demilitarization of the Middle East. The EL has for a long time supported a Middle East free of Nuclear Weapons.

There is an urgent need to act for peace, equality and justice. Therefore, world leaders, together with the European Union should react as soon as possible and put all their effort to the ceasefire and the start of new peace negotiations to reach the two state solution. However, the only way to have two state solution is first to have two states to negotiate; thus we call on the immediate recognition of a Palestinean State of Palestine.

The European Left wishes to reaffirm its commitment for a just and lasting peace and coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians and its support to the right of the Palestinian people to an independent State alongside the State of Israel, on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.