HRC 50 – EU Intervention: Interactive Dialogue with the Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel

(Source: EEAS)

Mister President,

The EU has carefully assessed the report by the Commission of Inquiry, and thanks them for their presentation today.

Individual EU Member States who were members of the Council in May 2021 did not support the creation of this Commission of Inquiry because of concerns about its broad mandate and permanent nature. The EU recalls its principled position of constructive engagement with UN bodies and investigative mechanisms, and respect for their independence.

The EU position concerning the developments on the ground in both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory is well known.

The European Union remains deeply concerned about the repeated cycles of violence and loss of human lives,. The EU calls upon all parties to exercise maximum restraint and refrain from violence, recalls the special significance of the holy sites, and calls for upholding the status quo put in place in 1967 for the Temple Mount / al-Haram al-Sharif in line with previous understandings and with respect to Jordan’s special role.The situation in the Gaza Strip remains of grave concern and we call for an end to the closure, while addressing Israel´s legitimate security concerns. The EU condemns the indiscriminate rocket attacks and other attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups against Israel as well as any other violence. We reiterate our call on the Palestinian Authority to uphold human rights in the areas where it is able to exercise control and thoroughly investigate alleged violations and abuses. We also recall the responsibilities of the de facto authorities in Gaza in this regard. We recall the importance of unhindered work of media and civil society organisations, including journalists and human rights defenders.

The EU’s opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and activities, including in East Jerusalem, is well known. Settlements are illegal under international law. Such actions as forced transfers, evictions, demolitions and confiscations of homes will only escalate an already tense environment and threaten the viability of the two-state solution. The EU condemns the recent increase in acts of violence, firmly condemns settler related incidents, and calls for accountability.

The EU calls on all parties to implement the commitments made to improve Palestinian livelihoods and to restore a political horizon towards a two-state solution, and open the path towards the relaunch of the peace process. The EU stands ready to give Israelis and Palestinians its full support in these efforts.

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