The leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament Iratxe García today said that the European Union has a responsibility to protect the viability of the two-state solution.
“I am very worried about the constantly deteriorating situation on the ground in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The EU has a responsibility to protect the viability of the two-state solution, the only one that can bring a permanent peace to the region,” García stated according to a press statement issued by the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group.
Head of the S&D Group made her remarks as she announced that she will be leading a mission of S&D MEPs to Israel and Palestine from June 12th until June 16th.
Iratxe García MEP said: “We want to show our support for the Palestinian people living under occupation. Beyond East Jerusalem and the West Bank, I would have also liked to visit Gaza on the 15th anniversary of the blockade, but access was once more denied. We must continue our work to make sure that one day it will be the Palestinians who control their borders and to keep the hope alive for a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
“It is crucial that we speak with our Israeli counterparts at a moment when the political tensions in the Knesset seem to be undermining the efforts of the coalition government. This government has represented an opportunity for Israel and a promise, which should not be missed. Peace in the region needs strong leadership, courage, and vision on both sides. And the EU should be an active player to support their efforts.”
During their visit, they will meet Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh, together with other representatives of the Palestinian Authority. They will also meet the brother of slain iconic Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.
García expressed her hopes that “the EU budget support for the Palestinian Authority that has been suspended will be unblocked by the time we arrive in Ramallah.”
The S&D group will visit the UNRWA-run Aida refugee camp as well as Masafer Yatta in the South Hebron Hills.