|External relations - 01-06-2006 - 11:31|
Humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories and the role of the EU
In adopting a joint resolution on the humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories and the role of the EU, MEPs express their serious concern over the deterioration of the humanitarian, economic and financial situation in the West Bank and Gaza.
Parliament calls on the Council and Commission to strengthen their initiatives by taking account of the following recommendations:
- to act within the Quartet with the aim of urgently guaranteeing the flow of aid essential to the Palestinians through humanitarian agencies and NGOs and implementing the temporary international mechanism, as proposed by the Quartet, to guarantee direct aid to the Palestinian people, which should be funnelled by the World Bank or other international bodies;
- to invite the governments of the US and the other donor countries to ensure a broad and flexible scope for this mechanism and facilitate it by the direct involvement of the Palestinian Authority's President, and to ensure financial control and accountability of expenditure;
- to develop such a mechanism in order to avoid a major humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories; calls on all the institutions involved in establishing such a temporary international financial mechanism to be as transparent as possible in order to prevent any fraud or deviation of funds;
- to call on the Israeli government to immediately resume the direct transfer of the withheld Palestinian tax and customs revenues which have been blocked since January 2006; notes that part of these funds have been transferred for payment of electricity supplies, complying with the 1994 Paris Protocol;
- to reinvigorate the institution-building process in Palestine, which has seen an important moment in the recent elections,
- to continue with the EU presence in Rafah and the implementation of the Agreement on Movement and Access,
- to make a comprehensive assessment of the situation, together with the High Representative for the CFSP, so as to guarantee coherence in both aid measures and political and diplomatic initiatives, in order to conduct a dialogue with the Palestinian Authority through its President;
- to ensure that all future assistance will be reviewed in the light of the Palestinian government's respect for these principles;
- to take full advantage of the Action Plan with the Palestinian Authority, within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy; the Commission, for its part, will have to guarantee the full implementation of the EU–Israel Action Plan, as far as Israel's obligations towards the Palestinian Authority are concerned.
MEPs considers that any contact with the newly appointed Palestinian government should aim to achieve the recognition of the final peace agreement, based on a solution involving two viable states and the renunciation of violence by the government itself and the groups supporting it. The House believes the government's clarification regarding denouncing violence and recognition of Israel's right to exist and the Palestinians' international obligations to be crucial for any cooperation of the EU with the Palestinian government.
The House points out that there is no alternative to bilateral negotiations and that unilateral actions could undermine the efforts to reach a lasting and comprehensive settlement.
Parliament reiterates its condemnation of, and calls for an immediate halt to, the continuing extension of settlements, in particular in East Jerusalem, and the building of the wall beyond the 1967 borders, which is contrary to international law and is also an obstacle to the restoration of a climate of dialogue.
Finally, MEPs calls on all parties concerned to fully implement the 'Roadmap for Peace', and calls on the Quartet to encourage negotiations for a fair and lasting solution to the conflict in the Middle East, leading to a firm and final peace agreement as laid out in the Roadmap for Peace.