Pax Christi International meets EU High Representative's office to raise the voice of Palestinians
On 21 April, a delegation of Pax Christi International consisting of Ms. Marie Dennis (Co-President), Mrs. Rania Giacaman Murra (from our member organisation in Bethlehem and an International Board member), and Ms. Alice Kooij Martinez (Senior Advocacy Officer) had a meeting with the EU External Action Service (EEAS), the office of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, to raise the voices of Palestinians.
This meeting was a follow-up action to our online petition of February in which we petitioned the EU High Representative to push the EU to take a stronger stance towards the Israeli government in condemning the legalisation of illegal settlements on Palestinian lands as incompatible with the human rights clause of the EU-Israel Association Agreement. Also, we asked for the EU to take economic measures until Israel respects International law.
The officials were open to the situation of Palestinians and value the work that NGOs like ours are doing to keep the peace process going. The delegation was able to present the work of Pax Christi International, such as our online petition and December statement, as well as raised the following issues with the EEAS:
- The situation of Palestinians, including Christians, is further deteriorating due to international law violations they are experiencing because of Israel’s insistence on being recognized as a Jewish state and the expansion and legalization of settlements.
- The EU should take a stronger stance by taking action that can actually bring about pressure on the Israeli government, such as through the EU-Israel Association Council and partnership priorities in light of the EU neighborhood policy.
- The situation of human rights defenders is getting worse because of the new Israeli law banning BDS activists from entering country. Reference was made to a question raised in the European Parliament last year regarding the detention of one of our members.
- The EU High Commissioner could support human rights defenders by speaking out on the worsening situation of human rights defenders and on her position regarding the new BDS-law, such as through statements and in bilateral meetings with the Israeli government.
- The EU should, together with partners, take steps for a new peace process leading to a just and sustainable peace for Palestinians and Israelis in line with the EU Global Strategy and various EU statements, even if there is negative pressure from several governments.
- Our movement will keep a close eye on the situation of the Palestinians, the new BDS law, as well as a political resolution, and we urge the EU High Commissioner and her office to do the same, even in these times of multiple conflicts and geopolitical changes.
Moreover, during the meeting the delegation of Pax Christi International spoke with the EEAS about the statement of the EU of the day before at the United Nations Security Council in which it reiterated its position and also raised concerns about the significant increase of Israeli demolitions and confiscations of Palestinian structures – including of EU-funded projects – in Area C.
This meeting was held in the light of Pax Christi International’s advocacy priority Renewed Israel–Palestine peace process. Find out more.