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    Palestinian protesters stand facing the Israeli settlement of Qadumim (Kedumim) during clashes with Israeli security forces following a demonstration against the expropriation of Palestinian land by Israel in the village of Kfar Qaddum, near Nablus, in the occupied West Bank on December 30, 2016

    MEPs Slam Israel Over 'Illegal' Settlements, Condemn Violence

    © AFP 2017/ JAAFAR ASHTIYEH
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    The European Parliament has said Israel's decision in February to legalize thousands of settler homes on Palestinian land served to "undermine the two-state solution." It also condemned "acts of terrorism against Israelis, and incitement to violence."

    MEPs have passed a resolution saying the "two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states" is the only way to achieve lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

    The resolution said the "settlements are illegal under international law [and] that the recent decisions to establish a new settlement deep inside the West Bank, to issue tenders for almost 2000 settlement units and to declare further land deep inside the West Bank as 'state land' further undermine prospects for a viable two-state solution".

    ​"[The Parliament] condemns the continuation of, and calls on the Israeli authorities to immediately halt and reverse, the settlement policy; regrets, in particular, the approval by the Knesset on 6 February 2017 of the 'regularization law,' which allows retroactive legalization of settlements built on Palestinian properties without the consent of the legitimate private owners," the resolution said.

    'Powerful Message'

    A European Union peace initiative aiming to achieve concrete results within a set period and focusing on the two-state solution must be launched to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, MEPs said. They condemn all acts of violence and terrorism attacking or endangering civilians, as well as all acts of provocation and incitement.

    "I am very happy that a broad majority still supports the two-state solution and that we can send out a powerful message. The peace process needs to be energized and needs more attention than just a day-to-day simple follow up," said Hilde Vautmans, the Liberals and Democrats MEP who negotiated the text on behalf of the Group.

    ​"We must come up with a comprehensive European Peace initiative, starting with a new EU Declaration. The process should aim at tangible results, while engaging with important stakeholders and other international actors and make effective use of the existing leverage and instruments of the EU," she said.

    The resolution also called for an end to the demolition of Palestinian homes and EU-funded structures and projects, the forced displacement of Palestinian families and the confiscation of Palestinian property in the West Bank.

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    Tags:
    Israeli settlements, Palestine, Israeli occupation, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, European Parliament, European Union, Europe, Palestine, Israel, West Bank
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