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Classics 442 European parliamentarians unite to denounce Israeli colonization

13:05  01 march  2021
13:05  01 march  2021 Source:   nouvelobs.com

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  442 parlementaires européens s’unissent pour dénoncer la colonisation israélienne © Copyright 2021, L'Obs

Denouncing a “de facto annexation” of the West Bank by Israel, more than 400 European parliamentarians are calling on Monday March 1st, in a letter consulted according to AFP, their countries to take advantage of the arrival of Joe Biden in Washington to mobilize against the colonization of the occupied Palestinian territories.

On the initiative of several former Israeli officials, 442 deputies and senators from twenty European countries signed this letter sent overnight from Sunday to Monday to the foreign ministries of various European countries.

"Developments on the ground clearly tend towards a reality of de facto annexation progressing rapidly, especially with the expansion of settlements and the demolitions of Palestinian structures", write the parliamentarians, including the British MP Jeremy Corbyn, former leader of the party Labor, and the French Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

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"If Israel offers us unfair, arbitrary and unworthy conditions, then yes, we refuse them"

"Despite the coronavirus pandemic, last year saw the highest number of demolitions of Palestinian houses and structures in four years" , they continue.

Colonization accelerated

On Thursday, several European chancelleries had asked Israel to return the equipment donated by their countries and confiscated from the Bedouins of Hamsa al-Baqa, a hamlet in the north of the Jordan Valley considered "illegal" by the Hebrew state.

The IDF has occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1967, where approximately 3.1 million Palestinians and more than 675,000 Israelis live in settlements deemed illegal under international law.

Israeli colonization has accelerated in recent years under the leadership of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with the benevolence of his Washington ally, Donald Trump.

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West Bank: de facto annexation

New US President Joe Biden has been critical of the settlements and pledged to step up efforts to establish a Palestinian state.

"The start of the Biden presidency provides an essential opportunity for action," say MEPs.

"Europe must take immediate action"

Their call was initiated by four Israeli officials including Avraham Burg, former speaker of the Knesset (Parliament).

"The annexation is taking place before our eyes: colonization and demolitions of Palestinian houses are accelerating and Europe must take immediate and concrete actions to put an end to these destructive practices, by working with the Biden administration", he told AFP.

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The "Trump plan" for the Middle East, presented in January 2020, notably provided for the annexation by Israel of parts of the West Bank. But Israel put the annexation plan on hold last summer after an agreement to normalize relations with the United Arab Emirates.

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