BRUSSELS, Friday, September 23, 2022 (WAFA) – A group of 47 influential Members of the European Parliament have called on European member states and the EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borell to cancel the upcoming EU-Israel Association Council meeting, as Israeli occupation authorities are going ahead with the forcible transfer of Palestinians in Masafer Yatta area.
"We were dismayed to read the announcement on 18 July that the European Commission intends to revive the EU-Israel Association Council. This decision was taken at the time when a historic mass eviction and forcible transfer of over one thousand Palestinians is taking place in Masafer Yatta," the 47 MPs said in a letter.
The letter added, "A government which controls and subjugates 5 million people under occupation, which arrests and prosecutes children in military courts and which persecutes human rights defenders under the pretext of a counter-terrorism law, cannot be an unconditional partner of the European Union. All these acts are hallmarks of an authoritarian state."
The signatories urged the EU "not to reward a government which pursues its policy of annexation and persecution in open defiance of international law and hundreds of UN resolutions. This dangerous complicity has to stop. The decision has to be revoked, or at least clear and concrete conditions should be set before reconvening the Association Council."
A number of European diplomats, including the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, expressed recently their concerns regarding the current developments in Palestine: Israeli attacks on leading Palestinian human rights organizations, displacement of Palestinians in various parts of the West Bank, such as in Masafer Yatta, building new illegal settlements in violation of international law and human rights.
"Israel raided and shut down the offices of leading Palestinian human rights organizations exactly a month after the EU ministers gave green light to hold the EU-Israel Association Council meeting," added the letter.
"It is clear that Israel moved against those NGOs while knowing the EU preparation process for the Association Council was underway. Shutting down human rights NGOs, a hallmark of authoritarian regimes, is an affront to core EU principles. All of this is happening while a process of de facto annexation is taking place."