EU, Arab League slam Israeli occupation, land grab policies

Bethlehem/PNN/

The European Union and the Arab League have denounced as “illegal” Israel’s settlement activities on occupied Palestinian land, stressing that the status of Jerusalem should be preserved based on the pre-1967 boundaries.

In a joint statement issued on Monday at the end of their first-ever summit in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheik, Arab and European leaders reaffirmed their common position “on the Middle East Peace Process, including on the status of Jerusalem , and on the illegality under international law of Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories.”

They also emphasized that the so-called two-state solution “on the basis of all relevant UN resolutions” was “the only realistic way” out of the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel seized the entire Palestinian territory of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in 1967.

The international law considers the territory as occupied and views the regime’s construction activities there as illegal.

We recalled the importance of upholding the historic status quo for the holy sites in Jerusale,” said the joint statement.

They underlined the need to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) “politically and financially” in order to allow it to continue humanitarian and financial assistance to Palestinians.

The leaders expressed concerns about “the humanitarian, political, security and economic situation” in the besieged Gaza Strip, calling for “all parties to take immediate steps” to end the crisis.