Category Archives: Press Releases

Statement by PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat on the attack against Ibrahim Dawabsheh’ Home in Duma this morning

The people of Duma are reeling this morning following the latest terrorist attack against Duma resident, Ibrahim Dawabsheh, the sole surviving witness of last July’s terrorist attack which left three members of the Dawabsheh family dead as a result of arson, including 18-month-old Ali. 

Ibrahim Dawabsheh and his wife were rushed to a hospital in Nablus following smoke inhalation as a result of their home being lit on fire in the early morning hours on Sunday.

We hold the Israeli Government fully responsible for the crimes in Duma. Israel has yet to convict those responsible for the murders of Saad, Reham, and Ali Dawabsheh, instead choosing to send violent murderers back to the illegal settlements where they live, and place them under house arrest. This has become common practice by the Israeli government, as was the case in the 2014 gruesome murder of 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, whose murderers were held under house arrest or in a mental facility, with little or no security supervision.

Israel’s disregard for the gravity of these atrocious crimes reflects both the Israeli culture of impunity and the international community’s free license granted to Israel to systematically disregard international law.  The Israeli prolonged belligerent occupation, colonization, and transfer 650,000 Israeli citizens into the occupied State of Palestine is part of a comprehensive system of continued oppression and subjugation perpetuated by the international community.

While we wait for another sham investigation to determine the source of this morning’s attack on another civilian family in Duma, we invite the international community to ensure that Israel upholds its obligations as the occupying power to provide security and protection for the Palestinian civilian population it occupies. We reiterate our calls for international protection and an immediate international intervention in order to end the Israeli occupation and achieve the long overdue inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

Brief report on Life under the Israeli occupation February – March

The Palestinian Ministry of Health has documented that since the beginning of October 2015 the Israeli occupying forces have now killed at least 185 Palestinians, including 41 children and 8 women and have injured more than 15,200 Palestinians, many who will have to live the rest of their lives with long-term and irreparable trauma as well as permanent disabilities.

Below are just some of the innumerable crimes perpetrated by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, in the last month:

25 February 2016:

• A Palestinian child, Suhayb Saqir, age 5, was killed and his brother

Musab, age 6, was seriously injured after unexploded lsraeli ordnance detonated in the Jabaliya area of the northern Gaza Strip.

26 February 2016:

• A Palestinian boy, Mahmoud Mohammed Ali Sha’lan, age 17 and from the village of Deir Dibwan, was shot dead by Israeli occupying forces near the illegal settlement of “Beit El”, north of Ramallah. The boy, who is also an American citizen, was shot with several rounds of Jive ammunition and left to bleed to death, a cruel fate many young Palestinians have suffered in such brutal attacks by occupying forces.

27 February 2016:

• Israeli navy boats opened tire on Palestinian fishermen’s boats, which were sailing within the Israeli-imposed six-nautical-mile fishing zone offshore the northwest of Gaza City.

• Israeli occupying forces opened tire at Palestinian farmers and homes along the Gaza border.

• A group of illegal settlers rampaged the agricultural lands of Yusuf village near Salfit, under the protection of occupying forces who tired rubber coated steel bullets and tear gas grenades towards Palestinians who were attempting to prevent attack by settlers.

28 February 2016:

• Israeli occupying forces detained at least 1O Palestinians, including two brothers, both children, from across the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

• Israeli navy boats and occupying forces opened tire on Palestinian fishermen and farmers offshore the northern Gaza Strip.

• Israeli settlers resumed their provocative visits to Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Occupied East Jerusalem, provoking tension with Muslim worshipers.

• Occupying forces shot and seriously injured a Palestinian child, Yazan Omar Salah (age 16) with a live bullet to his chest, and a medical doctor, Hisham Atwan (age 45), in the village of AI¬Khader, south of Bethlehem.

• A Palestinian farmer attempting to reach his farm in Gaza was injured when occupying forces opened tire at him.

29 February 2016:

• Israeli occupying forces detained 27 Palestinians, including a two-year-old toddler, during predawn raids in the West Bank.

• Occupying forces demolished residential structures and tents sheltering Palestinian Bedouin families in the village of Al-Farisiya, in northern Jordan Valley.

• Israeli naval boats attacked Palestinian fishermen sailing within the Israeli-imposed six-nautical mile fishing zone offshore Gaza.

• Occupying forces attacked and detained 9 Palestinian fishermen on fishing boats offshore Gaza.

• Occupying forces shot and injured a Palestinian east of Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip.

1 March 2016:

• ln a violent pre-dawn raid, Israeli occupying forces entered Qalandia refugee camp to the north of East Jerusalem and opened fire at Palestinian civilians, killing Iyad Omar Sajdyeh (age 22) by sniper tire and injuring 1O others, including a child.

• Occupying forces detained 16 Palestinians including a minor, from the West Bank.

• A group of terrorist settlers attacked and injured Ayman Bin Shamseh near the town of Surif to the south of Nablus. Settlers also brutally attacked and injured Mahmoud Suleiman Awad Rizeq from Askar refugee camp in Nablus.

• Occupying forces attacked and opened live fire on Palestinian fishermen offshore Gaza as well as farmers tending to their land in Gaza.

• Occupying forces demolished the family house of Yousef Abed Simrin, citing “unlicensed building” as a pretext. Yousef and his wife have seven children, ranging from 3 to 20, and are now displaced and homeless.

• Occupying forces brutally assaulted a Palestinian youth, Aliam Shaer, after raiding his house in the town of Arraba, southwest of Jenin.

2 March 2016:

• Israeli occupying forces continued the widespread demolition of Palestinian properties. This included the demolition of dozens of structures in the village of Khirbet Tana, northeast of Nablus, including houses, bams, and the village’s sole school, which is a building consisting of movable caravans donated by a European organization. The school was attended by 26 local children from grade 1 to grade 4.

• Occupying forces served demolition orders to Palestinian families in Khallet AI-Mayyeh, a small village south of Al-Kbalil under the pretext of “construction without an Israeli permit.”

• Occupying forces detained 30 Palestinians and summoned five others from the West Bank.

• Occupying forces demolished the house of Khalil Ali, in Shuwekeh, an outskirt of the city of Tulkarm in the West Bank, under the pretext of “construction without an Israeli permit”.

• Two Palestinian teenagers, Labib Khaldoon Anwar Azzam (age 17) and Mohammed Hisham Ali Zaghlawan (age 17) were killed by occupying forces near the illegal settlement of “Eli” south of Nablus.

ln addition to the above, we must highlight that Palestinian children continue to be arrested and detained by Israeli occupying forces on a near daily basis and are being subjected to harsh and cruel treatment, including beatings, forced interrogations and even torture, causing physical and psychological trauma to these innocent children and to their families. Just one example of this took place on Monday 1 March 2016 when Israeli occupying forces dressed in full army gear with only their eyes uncovered broke into a Palestinian home in the Occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Issawiya at 2:00 am in the morning. The occupying forces violently forced themselves into the home to arrest a young boy age 16, for alleged stone throwing. The soldiers forcibly woke the entire family up in a state of fear and proceeded to throw the 16-year-old boy to the ground, leaving him handcuffed for three hours. His father and mother who were trying to prevent the occupying forces from taking their young son, were hit and also shoved to the floor and the two-year old little brother even suffered from pepper spray to his eyes before he too was taken with the parents into captivity and detained for nearly four hours. On this scare topic, it should be noted that on Wednesday 2 March 201 6, a Palestinian boy, Jihad Al-Jaabari, age 14, from Jerusalem was sentenced by the occupying Power to 18 months in prison for allegedly throwing stones. The occupying Power with its scare tactics and harsh and unjustified sentencing of young children along with its sheer brutality against Palestinian children, must be firmly condemned for such illegal and cruel treatment of children in violation of all international and moral norms. There are currently approximately 450 Palestinian children detained in Israeli jails.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international legal standards are clear when it comes to the issue of imprisonment and detentions of children in that the arrest, detention and imprisonment of a child should only be used as a measure of last resort and for the shortest period of time, not in the systematic, gross manner used by Israel against Palestinian children under this belligerent, illegal military occupation that has been torturing and brutalizing Palestinians for nearly a half century, scarring generation after generation.

ln February 2016 alone at least 616 Palestinians, including 140 children, and 18 women, were arrested or detained by the occupying Power. That adds to the over 4, 120 Palestinians that have been detained by Israeli occupying forces in these few months since the onset of this Latest Israeli aggression in early October 2015.


Dr. Ashrawi calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq

“On behalf of the PLO Executive Committee, we call on the Israeli authorities to immediately and unconditionally release Palestinian journalist Muhammad al-Qiq who has been on hunger strike for sixty-one days.  Al-Qiq who is literally on the brink of death has been held under the unlawful practice of administrative detention for the past two months and subjected to severe and unjust acts of torture by the Israeli Prison Service.

We fully support al-Qiq and other prisoners who have courageously adopted hunger strike to expose the inhumanity and illegality of administrative detention; they embody a selfless struggle for justice and independence in Palestine, and expose the brutality and criminality of the continued military occupation, particularly in relation to the thousands of Palestinian men, women and children prisoners in Israeli jails.  They are also exercising the essence of nonviolent resistance that should be noted and safeguarded by the international community.

We call on all governments, members of the press community and people of conscience to act to guarantee that Palestinian political prisoners’ rights are safeguarded once and for all and to bring Israel to end its cruel and illegal use of administrative detention and other punitive measures against Palestinian political prisoners. We urge them to form an independent international commission of inquiry to investigate the severe and unlawful violations committed by the Israeli occupation.”

Dr. Ashrawi on the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s conclusions on the Middle East peace process

PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said:

The PLO Executive Committee welcomes this clear unequivocal stand in support of international law and justice and in the denunciation of Israel’s illegal settlement policy.  This is a decisive and forthright statement that should bring Israel to reconsider its policies and to cease its illegal and destructive measures.

We acknowledge the EU’s commitment to the two-state solution, ending the occupation that began in 1967, and supporting “a renewed multilateral approach to the peace process,” which include the possible establishment of an international support group and an international conference.

We are encouraged by the Council’s decision “to ensure continued, full and effective implementation of existing EU legislation and bilateral arrangements applicable to settlements products” and to establish that any agreement with Israel must “unequivocally and explicitly indicate its inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967.”  Such a commitment is indeed significant in the course of holding Israel to account on the basis of EU legislation. 

We appreciate the EU’s insistence on compliance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law” and for taking a positive stance on behalf of children and calling for their protection, including “ensuring the right to education in a safe and secure school environment.”

We also acknowledge the need for reconciliation, democratic elections in Palestine and ensuring a system of good governance.  We welcome the EU’s call for the “lifting of restriction on movement of people, services and goods” in Gaza.

Nonetheless, it is clear that “the underlying causes of the conflict” continue to be the ongoing Israeli military occupation and the denial of the Palestinian people’s right to freedom and legal recourse and protection.  Allocating equal blame fails to take into account the power asymmetry between the belligerent occupier and a vulnerable side under occupation whose rights are being willfully violated.

In denouncing Israeli violations, we are seeking accountability for Israel, which should not be misrepresented as incitement or provocation; the real incitement and provocation are Israeli government and settler violence, as well as the pervasive program of oppression and injustice represented by the occupation itself.

East Jerusalem, as occupied territory, must be included in all legal and political moves in order for it to be the capital of the free State of Palestine.

While we appreciate the promise of “European political, economic and security support and of a Special Privileged Partnership with the EU,” we urge the EU to take concrete steps and measures (1) to refrain from importing all settlement products; (2) to hold Israel accountable for its persistent settlement policies and practices and bring it to compliance with international law; and (3) to adopt a comprehensive and effective political initiative that would bring about an end to the occupation before the Israeli government destroys any possibility of peace.”

PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat on HRW Report regarding Israeli settlement businesses

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) report details the contribution that settlement businesses have in systematically denying of Palestinian national and human rights. It certainly exposes one of the most absurd media lines Israel’s propaganda machine has been spewing that settlement businesses ‘contribute’ to the Palestinian economy. It’s important that the report has outlined third state responsibility and encourages international businesses to severe and define properly ties with illegal Israel settlements.

We are disappointed that the report falls short by failing to call for a complete ban on trade with Israeli settlements, nonetheless, we welcome the report’s central message that all lawful measures should be taken to properly define products and services and ensure that they do not receive any benefits under bi-lateral trade agreements. We also congratulate the report for detailing with accuracy how international businesses and governments that maintain trade ties with Israeli settlements are complicit in the denial of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.

We urge all government to work towards ending companies or subsidiaries of Israeli companies operating out of international markets from operating in the occupied State of Palestine, we also urge countries to adopt national legislation that bans illegal settler products and services from entering any international market and to severe ties with any establishments that contribute to the denial of Palestinian fundamental human rights. 

Our position on that matter is clear: There must be a full cessation of trade, both in goods and services, with illegal Israeli settlements. We call for the full application of international humanitarian law in the occupied State of Palestine, including international responsibility towards the full implementation of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people.


·       Israeli illegal settlements and their associated infrastructure state-directed policies is placing a heavy toll on the Palestinian economy costing it almost 50% of its current GDP per year according to recent World Bank report. We estimate the cost at 89% of our current GDP.

·       Illegal settlements operate businesses and factories that use Palestinian natural resources including water, land, stones, marbles, Dead Sea minerals, agriculture among various others. The theft in day light of natural resources making their way to European and international markets should end now. This is a grave violation of international law and international legal norms and should not be rewarded by the international community.

·       Israeli products, many of which are manufactured partially or fully from Palestinian natural resources is a war crime and international business ties should end immediately. 

·       A significant number of international companies operate in illegal Israeli settlements and are benefiting from Israel’s illegal policies in the occupied state of Palestine. Countries have an obligation to ensure that those who are directly or indirectly involved in the Israeli settlement enterprise, or in any other Israeli policy in the occupied State of Palestine that contravenes international law, are bereft of any benefit derived from bi-lateral agreements signed between the parties and should encourage its own companies to halt such relations.

Dr. Ashrawi: “Anyone who deviates from Israeli ideological arguments and official government spin is subject to vicious attacks and unfounded accusations and threats”

“Anyone who criticizes Israel or digresses from the official Israeli line is singled out for public attacks.  Israel is attempting to censor international leaders and defame anyone who deviates from its public positions in any way.”

PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi made these comments in response to Israel’s smear campaign against Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström.

 “We commend world leaders like Margot Wallström who are people of principle and courage and who continue to stand up to Israel and speak against injustice.  We are grateful to Sweden and other countries that are not intimidated by Israeli campaigns to silence dissent and that persist in upholding the principles and requirements for justice, freedom and peace.”

Another example of Israel’s defamation strategy is its decision to suspend diplomatic contacts with the European Union (EU) and its representatives connected to the peace process following the European Commission’s move to adopt new guidelines for labeling products and goods produced in the illegal settlements in Occupied Palestine, Dr. Ashrawi said:

“Such a step constitutes a hysterical response. The idea that Israel presumes to be the sole gatekeeper to an international pursuit of peace is the epitome of arrogance, particularly since Israel itself is responsible for destroying the peace process.  Israel is not the arbiter on the eligibility of global partners.”

In response to media reports that the Israeli foreign ministry is planning to distribute a document worldwide claiming that the settlements are legal, Dr. Ashrawi stated:

“Israel is attempting to present so-called “legal arguments” to legalize the settlements and is subjecting the whole world to its own interpretation of international law to negate the very existence of the military occupation of Palestine and of the Palestinian people.  Such “legal” manipulations and distortions are a travesty that must be exposed and countered.”

In the same vein, Dr. Ashrawi commented on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s remarks on the two-state solution:

“Once again, Netanyahu has the arrogance to attack Israel’s closest ally and defender merely because Kerry stated the obvious to ensure Israel’s security and its “democratic and Jewish” character.  It has become evident that anyone who deviates from Israeli ideological arguments and official government spin is subject to vicious attacks and unfounded accusations and threats in an attempt to intimidate and to silence any independent or objective voices that do not parrot Israeli distortions and fabrications.”


Dr. Ashrawi: “Palestinian Parliamentarian Khalida Jarrar’s sentencing is unjust and politically motivated”

PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi said:

“On behalf of the PLO Executive Committee, we strongly denounce the sentencing of Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) Member and a member of the political leadership of the PFLP, one of the PLO’s constituent factions, Khalida Jarrar.

There is no legal basis for Khalida’s sentencing.  The actions of the Israeli military court are politically motivated and are part of a deliberate attack on Palestinian politicians.  This also constitutes a blatant violation of Khalida’s parliamentary immunity.

We demand the immediate release of Khalida and all imprisoned Palestinian parliamentarians, and we call on the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention to hold Israel accountable for its blatant violations of international law, particularly the rights of Palestinian political prisoners, and urge Israel to adhere to international law and conventions regarding the immunity of elected officials.  It is high time for the dehumanization and the captivity of the Palestinian people to end.”

Amnesty International: Israeli Killing of Hashlamoun in Hebron an ‘extrajudicial execution’

Evidence obtained by Amnesty International indicated that the killing of Hadeel al-Hashlamoun by Israeli forces in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, on 22 September 2015, was an ‘extrajudicial execution‘.

Amnesty, which is headquarted in London, interviewed two eyewitnesses who saw Israeli occupation forces shoot the young student. Based on the evidence, Amnesty concluded that al-Hashlamoun “at no time posed a sufficient threat to the soldiers to make their use of deliberate lethal force permissible”.

This killing is the latest in a long line of unlawful killings carried out by the Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank with near total impunity,” Amnesty said.

The witnesses told Amnesty al-Hashlamoun was asked to open her bag for a search. She showed them the inside of her bag, but the soldiers began to yell at her, and she froze in fear. They were shouting in Hebrew, which the young woman did not understand.

Witness Fawaz Abu Aisheh, who speaks Hebrew, said he tried to help the young woman, who was trying to leave the checkpoint. He offered to translate for her, but four Israeli soldiers arrived and pushed him away.
At this point, a soldier shot al-Hashlamoun in the leg. The young woman fell to the ground. One witness says he saw her drop a knife with a brown handle, but another said he did not see a knife.

The Israeli soldier then walked closer to al-Hashlamoun and shot at her chest four or five more times, while she was lying motionless on the ground. Other soldiers yelled at him to stop, yet he kept on shooting.

The Israeli military claims that al-Hashlamoun walked toward the occupation forces with a knife, but witnesses said the young woman had her hands inside her niqab, her full veil, the entire time, and never tried to move toward any of the soldiers.

Israel also released a photo of a knife with a blue and yellow handle on the ground at the scene. The two eyewitnesses interviewed by Amnesty and photographs of the incident contradict these official claims.

As for the allegation that al-Hashlamoun had a knife, Amnesty remarks that, “Even if al-Hashlamoun did have a knife, Israeli soldiers, who are protected with body armour and heavily equipped with advanced weapons, could have controlled the situation and arrested her without threatening her life”.

Open fire regulations of the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank allow soldiers to open fire only when their lives are in imminent danger, and Amnesty International concludes that this was not the case in the shooting of al-Hashlamoun, as she was standing still and separated from the soldiers by a metal barrier.

“There was no attempt to arrest al-Hashlamoun, according to the eyewitnesses, or to use non-lethal alternatives,” said Amnesty.

“To then shoot al-Hashlamoun again multiple times as she lay wounded on the ground indicates that her killing was an extrajudicial execution,” added Amnesty.

“Unlawful and deliberate killings carried out by order of government or military officials, or with their complicity or acquiescence, amount to extrajudicial executions, which are prohibited at all times and constitute crimes under international law”.

Amnesty added that, “An extrajudicial execution would also constitute a willful killing, which is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which applies to Israel’s long-standing military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and a war crime”.

An eyewitness who stayed in the area around al-Hashlamoun for 15-20 minutes after the shooting, before being forced to leave by Israeli soldiers, said no medical help was given to the young woman, who lay bleeding to death.

Local media reported that Israeli forces prevented Palestinian medics from helping al-Hashlamoun, and did not put her into an ambulance for 30-40 minutes after they shot her.

“In order to comply with their obligations under the right to life, Israeli forces had a duty to provide al- Hashlamoun with medical assistance at the earliest possible moment, which they clearly did not meet,” Amnesty said.

Regarding the Israeli military announcement that it is investigation the killing of Hadeel, Amnesty said that, “such internal investigations have consistently failed to identify those responsible for previous unlawful killings or to hold anyone accountable”.

“International law requires states to ensure prompt, independent, impartial and effective investigations into suspected extrajudicial executions,” it said.

Amnesty International called on the Israeli authorities to carry out such an investigation into the incident, promptly disclose the findings and ensure that anyone responsible for a human rights violation is brought to justice and that the victim’s family receives full reparation.

“Failure to effectively investigate a suspected unlawful killing in itself constitutes a violation of the right to life”.

The human rights organization indicates that it has “consistently criticized the Israeli authorities for their failure to bring to justice military or police personnel, who operate with impunity”.

Amnesty also noted that more than 25 Palestinians, including at least three children, have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank in 2015.

It said that, dozens more in the West Bank were killed by Israeli soldiers in 2014; “In many cases, it appears that the killings were unlawful, and some may have been either willful killings or extrajudicial execution”, the human rights organization stated.


#This Amnesty`s Report came soon after the Palestinian Authority on demanded on the 22nd of September, that the UN form a committee to investigate the shooting of 18-year-old Hadel al-Hashlamon by Israeli forces in Hebron in the occupied West Bank earlier in theday.

The 18-year-old was shot at a checkpoint a at the entrance of Hebron’s central al-Shuhada street, after allegedly attempting to stab an Israeli soldier, according to the Israeli army’s official account.

She later died at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem, where she arrived “terribly injured, and underwent surgery upon her arrival,” the hospital spokesperson told Ma’an.

No Israeli soldiers were injured during the incident, and Israeli authorities presented no evidence of the alleged stabbing attempt.#

All Nations Should Adhere to International Law

Statement by Dr. Saeb Erekat, Secretary General of the PLO, on the Occasion of the Israeli Massacre of Sabra and Shatila and the Continued Israeli Aggression on the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound

All Nations Should Adhere to International Law

The massacre of Sabra and Shatila (Beirut, 1982) has become a symbol of forced Palestinian displacement. Thousands of defenseless civilians came under fire and were slaughtered in an area fully controlled by the Israeli Occupation Forces. The perpetrators of such massacre were never prosecuted, on the contrary, they were even promoted within their ranks for the attack. The Israeli commander in charge of the area, Ariel Sharon, became Prime Minister of Israel, who despite attempts to try him in Belgium on the international legal principle of universal jurisdiction, died last year without paying any price for the order given to carry out the massacre.

In order for peace to prevail, the world must support justice for all, rather than allow for injustice against one, perpetrated through Israeli crimes. In an effort to defend our peoples’ rights, the State of Palestine has joined the International Criminal Court and provided the Court with comprehensive information about crimes committed against the people of Palestine.

In light of the latest wave of Israeli crimes, the worst since 1969 according to the head of the Heritage and Manuscripts Department of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound, the PLO Executive Committee resolved to convey the matter of Israeli attacks against Jerusalem and its Holy Sites, particularly against the Al Aqsa Mosque Compound, to the Security Council. Israeli attempts at changing Jerusalem’s status quo will be met with more Palestinian steadfastness on the ground, including legal and political efforts to end Israel’s culture of impunity. Israeli attempts at turning Jerusalem into an exclusively Jewish city are part of Israel’s attempts at being recognized as a “Jewish State,” something the State of Palestine rejects for this being a clear step toward erasing Palestinian history, consolidating discrimination against Palestinian citizens of Israel, negating Palestinian refugee rights, and in direct conflict with the principles of democracy.

Impunity only incentivizes Israeli violations of international law. While marking 33 years of the massacre of Sabra and Shatila, and in the middle of an escalation of Israeli attacks against Jerusalem in general and the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound in particular, we call upon the world to assume its responsibility, fully recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 border, ban settlement products as well as to divest from companies profiting from the situation of occupation, colonization and Apartheid imposed by Israel in Palestine.

There is a direct link between Netanyahu’s settlement policy and Israeli extremism

The president of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, welcomed the Israeli government’s clear stance against extremism in the country and of Jewish settlers in Palestine, following two acts of terror in recent days: the attack against a Palestinian family, which killed an 18-month-old and injured his parents and brothers, and the stabbing to death of a 16-year old Israeli who was marching in Jerusalem’s Gay Pride Parade.

Gianni Pittella said:

“These acts of violence are appalling, and have been rightly acknowledged as terrorist attacks by President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, they don’t seem to understand the link between extremism and Netanyahu’s support for Jewish settlers in Palestinian territory.

“Only last week Netanyahu approved more West Bank construction after several buildings in the illegal settlements were demolished as determined by a court ruling. This decision goes against international law, against Israeli law and undermines peaceful coexistence between Arab and Israelis, but also undermines the internal cohesion of the Israeli society.

“The fact that Israel will now use administrative detention orders – which allow for renewable six-month periods of detention without trial – not only against Palestinians but also against extremist Jews doesn’t help.

“Any solution for Israel and for the Middle East should be based on the rule of law, the respect of Habeas corpus and human rights. There are no shortcuts for peace.”


Brussels, 05 August 2015