Resolutions are good and necessary but real action needs to be taken such as sanctions, boycott etc...
Strasbourg 21st February 2008
Today the European Parliament approved a resolution that calls once again, after a previous resolution already voted on 11th October 2007, for the lift of the Israeli blockade on Gaza Strip.
"Now, European Union has no more excuses - declared Luisa Morgantini- We must immediately take effective actions to implement these resolutions and stop the illegal and collective punishment of civilians in the Strip, where 98 Palestinian patients, including 17 children, already died for the lack of medicines and treatments due to the siege: the MEPs delegation visited the Shifa Hospital in Gaza and saw at least 30 premature babies still alive thanks to the incubators but that will die if generators would stop for the lack of fuel due to the cut off of refuelling supplies and to the closure decided by the Israeli Government. That’s unlawful and inhuman”.
“The resolution voted today, calling on Israel for an end to the blockade, for a controlled re-opening of the crossings in and out of Gaza, for guaranteeing the movement of people and goods at Rafah, Karni and other crossings, clearly affirms that “the policy of isolation of Gaza Strip has failed both at the political and at the humanitarian level"- she added. “Reminding that “civilian population should be exempt from any military action and any collective punishment” through this resolution, the EP strongly urges Israel to fulfil its international obligations, as an occupying power, guaranteeing “a continuous and sufficient flow of humanitarian aid, humanitarian assistance and essential goods and services, including fuel and power supplies” condemning at the same time the Israel's decision to introduce progressive five per cent per week cuts in power supplies to the Strip not enough for a minimum humanitarian needs and welcoming the petition from 10 Israeli human rights organisations against fuel and electricity cuts in the Gaza Strip”.
“Finally- concluded Luisa Morgantini- today resolution reminds to Europe that it must be able to be more effective not only in condemning all violence, all military actions killing and endangering civilians and extrajudicial targeted killings actuated by Israel, as well as all Qassam rockets fired on civilians of the Israeli town of Sderot, perpetrated by some extremist Palestinian groups, but also through its deeds and commitments. The time of empty words and of betrayed promises is ended: all the Palestinians and the Israelis who want the peace deserve our support and efforts to work concretely for guaranteeing the respect of the international humanitarian law, for the resumption of all inclusive peace negotiations, including also the Arab League, based on the freezing of all illegal Israeli settlements in West Bank and in East Jerusalem, the end of the military occupation and for the establishment of a free, sovereign, united Palestinian State, composed by the West Bank and the Gaza Strip on ‘67 borders in coexistence , security and peace with the Israeli State”.
Yesterday 20th February Luisa Morgantini, Vice President of the European Parliament (GUE/NGL), and General Philippe Morillon (ALDE) organized a press conference titled “Coming Back from Gaza and Sderot” with the participation of Members from different political groups of the European Parliament who took part to the fact finding mission to Israel and Palestine, 2-7 February 2008, in order to expose the results of their mission and report the situation found on the ground, in particular focusing on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza Strip. MEP Jill Evans (GREEN), who participated to the mission in Gaza and Sderot affirmed that "The situation in Palestine is reaching breaking point. The siege is an inhuman and illegal collective punishment of the people in Gaza and is causing huge suffering. It has to be stopped. There has to be international action to lift the siege, end the occupation and resume peace negotiations". MEP Richard Howitt, Vice-President of the European Parliament's Human Rights Sub-Committee and also in the delegation who went to Israel and Palestine added: "This is a state of siege imposing medieval conditions on the people of Gaza, and is today identified by the European Parliament as a clear breach of human rights. European countries should take the lead to secure support from all sides in their UN Human Rights Council to seek enforcement of international humanitarian law".
“In Gaza, there is a humanitarian crisis building and an economic breakdown happening which can only benefit the violent, the lawless and the zealots on all sides: we have to support those who want to live "normal", peaceful lives before that becomes impossible” - declared MEP Jean Lambert (GREEN) who also visited with the delegation Gaza and Sderot- “Both sides are hostages of their own extremists. That's why the International Community should enforce a sustainable peace both on Israel and Palestine: it's the basic interest of the peace-loving Israelis and Palestinians as well”- added MEP Gyula Hegyi (PSE) another participant to the mission.