An overwhelming majority of the European Parliament lawmakers have censured a US-devised Middle East proposal on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the contentious plan flies in the face of international law.
During a session in Strasbourg on Tuesday, the EU lawmakers said the plan that the administration of US President Donald Trump has drawn up in cooperation with Israel runs contrary to international law and is biased towards Tel Aviv.
Dutch MEP Kati Piri denounced the American scheme as “one-sided, illegal and intentionally provocative,” adding that it is aimed at “legalizing settlement and annexation of the West Bank” while risks bringing “more suffering for the Palestinian people.”
What the US president calls the “deal of the century” is “a cynical plan of two far-right leaders seeking support ahead of elections,” she stressed, referring to Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Similarly, Spanish MEP Manu Pineda called the US proposal the “fraud of the century.”
Belgian MEP Hilde Vautmans also urged the EU to use its “credibility to intervene as an honest broker” and EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell to initiate a peace conference.
The European Union has already rejected Trump’s self-proclaimed peace plan for the Middle East.
Only a small number of lawmakers backed Trump’s plan during the debate.
Slovenian politician Tanja Fajon warned that the “EU should not reject the deal because it hates Trump.”
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also addressed the session, saying Israel’s possible annexation of the Jordan Valley under the plan — drawn up by the US administration in cooperation with Israel — could fuel Palestinian anger and protests.
“This may happen …You can be sure it’s not going to be peaceful,” he said.
Borrell also noted that Trump’s Middle East plot challenges international parameters.
“The proposals tabled two weeks ago clearly challenge the internationally agreed parameters. It is difficult to see how this initiative can bring both parties back to the table,” he said. “I made this point to my (US) interlocutors: we need to ask ourselves whether this plan provides a basis for progress or not.”
The EU foreign policy chief further expressed his vocal support for “a negotiated two-state solution” to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict in accordance with international law.
“This means a two-state solution based on the parameters set in the Council Conclusions of July 2014 that meets Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation that began in 1967, and resolves all permanent status issues in order to end the conflict,” he added.
Trump released his controversial deal during an event at the White House alongside Netanyahu in Washington on January 28.
The so-called ‘Vision for Peace’ — which all Palestinian groups have unanimously rejected — bars Palestinian refugees from returning to their homeland while enshrines Jerusalem al-Quds as “Israel’s undivided capital” and allows the regime to annex settlements and the Jordan Valley.
Addressing the UN Security Council on Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his rejection of Trump’s initiative.
He said that the proposal would bring neither peace nor stability and would rather leave the Palestinians with a state resembling “Swiss cheese.”
Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) found that 94 percent of Palestinian people are against the US initiative and only 4 percent support it.
According to the survey, whose results were published on Tuesday, 64 percent of the Palestinians believe that the US plan should be met with an armed intifada (uprising).