PLO Executive Committee Member Dr. Hanan Ashrawi met with newly appointed European Union Special Representative to the Middle East Peace Process Fernando Gentilini at the PLO Headquarters in Ramallah and welcomed him to Palestine. Mr. Gentilini was accompanied by political advisor James McCormick.
The discussion focused on the deteriorating situation on the ground and Israel’s continued violations of international law and human rights, in particular its illegal settlement enterprise, the increase in home demolitions in and around Jerusalem and the campaign of terror and violence being waged by the extremist Jewish settler population.
Dr. Ashrawi addressed the role of Europe in peacemaking, and she stressed the dire need for Europe and governments worldwide to undertake a new strategic political approach to end the Israeli military occupation of Palestine and to establish the independent and sovereign Palestinian state:
“Since Israel is actively destroying the chances of peace and stability, the focus needs to be on peace and not on the process.”
Both parties reviewed the internal rift, including reconciliation attempts and the importance of holding elections, and Dr. Ashrawi emphasized the imperative for the international community to end the illegal blockade of Gaza and to carry out rapid relief and reconstruction efforts in Gaza.
In addition, Dr. Ashrawi met earlier with Deputy Consul General of the British Consulate James Downer where both parties discussed the latest political developments and issues of mutual interest.