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OpinionIsrael and Palestine: Recognising the need for difficult compromises

18.12.14 @ 09:28

The idea of using recognition of Palestine to stimulate the Middle East peace process comes from genuinely grassroots politics. The Palestinians themselves didn’t employ this tactic in their diplomacy for a long time, ...

French MPs back Palestine recognition, get 2016 deadline

03.12.14 @ 09:04

The French parliament has voted in favour of a non-binding motion on recognising Palestine, with the French FM saying he’ll do it if there’s no peace by the end of 2016. The resolution passed by 339 votes against 151 ...

Danish parliament to vote on Palestine recognition

24.11.14 @ 20:03

Danish MPs are to vote on a resolution instructing the government to recognise Palestine, but Denmark's foreign minister says the time is not right. The motion was introduced by deputies from three small left-wing ...

OpinionFormer Israeli law chief urges EU parliament to back Palestine recognition

21.11.14 @ 18:12

Political Zionism sought to find a solution to the persecution of Jewish people by establishing a state to renew Jewish political life. It did not strive to establish a state within the borders of the biblical “Promised ...

EU parliament to vote on Palestine statehood

21.11.14 @ 18:12

The European Parliament will in Strasbourg on Thursday (27 November) add its voice to the debate on whether EU states should recognise Palestine. The motion was initiated at the 11th hour by the left-wing Gue and S&D ...

Spanish MPs build EU support for Palestine recognition

18.11.14 @ 22:04

The Spanish Congress has backed a non-binding motion to recognise Palestine, as France prepares for a similar move next week. The non-binding resolution passed by 319 votes against two, with one abstention on Tuesday ( ...

New EU foreign chief takes firm stand on Israeli settlements

06.11.14 @ 09:24

The EU’s new foreign policy chief has urged Israel to “reverse” its latest settlement expansion in her first statement on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Federica Mogherini, who is to visit Israel and the West Bank on Friday ...

Spanish MPs to vote on Palestine recognition

04.11.14 @ 09:08

Spanish MPs will, on Tuesday (4 November), vote on a non-binding motion urging Madrid to recognise Palestinian statehood, following similar moves in Britain, Ireland, and Sweden. The motion was tabled by Antonio ...

Irish senators build EU momentum on Palestine recognition

23.10.14 @ 09:28

Irish senators have adopted a non-binding motion on Palestine recognition, as the EU prepares to set out new red lines on Israel relations. The motion, tabled by Averil Power from the opposition Fianna Fail party, ...

OpinionEU states should follow Sweden on Palestine

23.10.14 @ 09:24

There are moments in the life of a diplomat in which one is obliged to abandon diplomatic conduct and to say what’s on one’s mind loud and clear. This period defines such a moment. After years of diplomatic service on ...

British MPs vote to recognise Palestine in symbolic move

14.10.14 @ 09:24

British MPs have said the UK should recognise Palestine in a non-binding resolution which highlights EU frustration with Israel. The motion - “the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state ...

OpinionSakharov laureates: EU states wrong to pressure Palestine on ICC

08.09.14 @ 10:11

Dear president of the European Parliament and EU high representative for foreign affairs, We are human rights defenders from Algeria, Bangladesh, and Israel, united by the honour of being recipients of the European ...

EU poised to 'take measures' against Israeli food

03.09.14 @ 09:24

The EU is poised to take “appropriate measures” against Israeli settler food exports after Israel failed to respond to its complaints on safety certificates. The European Commission, on 28 July, wrote to Israeli ...

Israeli attack on school in Gaza is 'outrageous', says UN

31.07.14 @ 09:30

Israeli rocket fire on sleeping children at a school in Jabaliya refugee camp on Wednesday (30 July) is a serious violation of international law, the United Nations has said. "It is outrageous. It is unjustifiable. And ...

OpinionIs international law a universal right or a select privilege?

28.07.14 @ 16:26

Last Tuesday, EU foreign ministers closed their eyes to the on-going Palestinian civilian casualties and mass-destruction in the Gaza Strip. On that day they declared their shameful position on the on-going round of ...

French ease ban on pro-Gaza demonstrations in Paris

22.07.14 @ 09:28

The French authorities have reportedly authorised a demonstration in support for Gaza on Wednesday (23 July) after two government-banned protests over the weekend turned violent. Wednesday’s gathering is to be allowed ...

EU sees likelihood of Israeli ground attack on Gaza

11.07.14 @ 18:32

EU diplomats believe Israel will launch a ground invasion of Gaza if a Hamas rocket causes serious Israeli casualties. The concerns come amid rapid escalation in fighting over the past four days. Hamas, the Palestinian ...

EU 'deplores' Israeli killing of civilians

09.07.14 @ 09:29

EU countries have urged Palestinian militants to stop firing at Israel, while “deploring” Israel’s killing of civilians. They said in a statement on Tuesday (8 July) the EU “strongly condemns the indiscriminate fire ...

EU states promote settler boycott amid Israel crisis

04.07.14 @ 09:27

Twelve EU countries have warned investors not to do business with Israeli settler entities, amid a security crisis in Israel and Palestine. The group includes: Austria; Belgium; Croatia; Denmark; Finland; Greece; ...

EU threatens action against Israeli settlers

06.06.14 @ 09:30

The EU has threatened to take action against settlers after Israel backed the building of 1,466 more Jewish homes on Palestinian land in the West Bank. EU countries said in a joint communique on Thursday (5 June) the ...

Palestine urges EU to blacklist Jewish 'terrorists'

19.05.14 @ 09:28

Palestine has asked the EU to blacklist violent Jewish settlers as "terrorists", in what Israel is calling "a PR stunt". The Palestinian foreign minister, Riad Malki, wrote to EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton ...

FeatureBuilding Israel, one rock at a time

12.05.14 @ 09:42

The rock, thrown by a Jewish settler, hit Rashida, a six-year old Palestinian girl, in the forehead as she walked from school in the South Hebron Hills one Wednesday (23 April). She needed six stitches, but photos of ...

Gaza on edge of instability, EU diplomats warn

24.03.14 @ 09:22

The Ukraine crisis does not mean that problems in the EU’s southern neighbourhood have gone away, with diplomats warning that Gaza is on the edge of instability. The miserable living conditions in the strip risk seeing ...

EU parliament chief highlights Palestine water shortage

12.02.14 @ 19:01

Right-wing Israeli MPs have savaged European Parliament President Martin Schulz over his remarks on water politics. The German centre-left politician said in a speech in the Knesset on Wednesday (12 February) that: "A ...

OpinionPeace through gas in Israel and Palestine

14.01.14 @ 17:38

Last month’s special report by the European Court of Auditors on EU financial support to the Palestinian Authority has been described by some commentators as a political minefield. The audit was, in fact, largely ...

EU pays salaries of phantom workers in Palestine

11.12.13 @ 10:20

The EU is knowingly paying Palestinian civil servants who have not worked in years, its spending watchdog says. The Luxembourg-based European Court of Auditors published its findings in a report, out on Wednesday (11 ...

OpinionEU settlement guidelines do Israel a favour

14.11.13 @ 13:23

The European Commission is in the process of implementing territorial guidelines for its future co-operation with Israel. The guidelines state that no EU grants, funds and financial instruments should go to Israeli ...

Ashton predecessors urge firm line on Israel

16.09.13 @ 10:04

Fifteen former high-ranking EU officials and politicians have urged the Union not to bow to Israeli and US requests to alter new rules on settler funding. They said in a letter, sent on Monday (16 September) to EU ...

Israel ignores EU and US, piles on settlements

14.08.13 @ 09:25

Israel has said it will build 942 more homes for Jewish settlers on occupied land in the teeth of US, EU and Palestinian criticism. The announcement, on Tuesday (13 August), comes after it said on Sunday it will build 1 ...

EU 'hopes' new settler homes will not stop peace talks

12.08.13 @ 09:28

The EU has refrained from criticism of Israel's announcement of new settler homes on the eve of peace talks. A spokesman for the bloc's foreign service, Michael Mann, told EUobserver on Sunday (11 August): "We hope and ...

EU keeps quiet on Israeli settlements

24.06.13 @ 20:51

EU countries have declined to criticise Israel's surge in settlement building amid US efforts to resume peace talks. The bloc's foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, told press after meeting with foreign ministers in ...

EU rhetoric fails to stop Israeli land-grab

27.05.13 @ 09:27

Israel is continuing to seize Palestinian land in the West Bank despite EU and US initiatives to stop the decades-old process. According to a new study by Aida, a coalition of 80 aid agencies, Israel demolished 535 ...

InvestigationControversial British firm wins EU security job in Gaza

30.04.13 @ 09:22

The EU diplomatic service has confirmed that British company Page Protective Services (PPS) will guard its people in Gaza and the West Bank despite the firm's poor track record. A note published on the EU's Tenders ...

InvestigationGaza's gas: EU millions up in smoke

24.04.13 @ 09:45

“As you can see, I have no electricity at home at this moment,” says Yousef via Skype. “I have a fuel generator that I can use during the power cuts. If I run out of fuel, like now, I have a transformer connected to a ...

Leading EU countries to stigmatise Israeli settler goods

22.04.13 @ 09:26

France and the Netherlands have joined an initiative by 13 EU states to help European consumers boycott goods made by Israeli settlers on Palestinian land. Foreign ministers from the group - which also includes Austria, ...

InvestigationEU men with guns: A comedy of errors

17.04.13 @ 16:47

Catherine Ashton's EU foreign service recently gave its biggest security contract to a company with a frightening track record. Then they took it away again, posing questions on the professionalism of her staff. Ashton' ...

Palestine donors: time to end paper solutions to real problems

19.03.13 @ 16:01

I vividly remember two years ago, in April 2011, when the World Bank (WB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations (UN) and the European Union (EU) were sending the message that Palestinians are ready ...

Israel urges EU to back new peace plan for Syria

12.03.13 @ 19:12

Israeli President Shimon Peres has urged the EU to get behind his novel idea on how to stop the war in Syria - by sending in Arab peacekeepers under a UN mandate. Speaking to press in the European Parliament in ...

Put Hezbollah on EU terror list, Israeli President says

07.03.13 @ 17:51

Israeli President Shimon Peres has urged the EU to put Hezbollah on its list of terrorist organisations, claiming that failure to do so would be an indication that the EU was prepared to tolerate its actions. Speaking ...

EU diplomats urge financial sanctions on Israeli settlers

27.02.13 @ 15:16

Senior EU diplomats have called for financial sanctions and travel bans on Israeli settlers in what they describe as a last-ditch effort to save the Middle East peace process. An internal report by EU countries' consuls ...

From Gaza to EU: one man's journey

22.01.13 @ 09:20

The efforts of one Palestinian man to get to his scholarship at a European university show how cut off Gaza is from the normal world. Twenty-four-year-old Maysara al-Arabeed left Gaza for the first time in his life on ...

Israel vs. Palestine: one-nil?

05.12.12 @ 08:41

Israel last month showed off the accuracy of its weapons by bombing a football stadium in Gaza. But civilian deaths and settlement expansion have caused diplomatic defeats. At about 9am local time on 17 November an ...

Hamas appeals for talks with EU diplomats

03.12.12 @ 09:00

The Prime Minister of Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, has appealed to the EU to take his political and militant group, Hamas, off its terrorist register. Speaking to a delegation of visiting parliamenterians from Poland, Portugal ...

UN vote marks EU defeat for Israel

30.11.12 @ 07:16

Just one EU country - the Czech Republic - voted against Palestine's bid to become a UN "observer state" on Thursday (29 November). Fourteen others - Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, ...

OpinionThe EU should not be complicit in Abbas' mistake

29.11.12 @ 09:28

The Palestinians are about to compound their 1947 UN blunder with yet another misstep at the world body. No EU country should be complicit in this mistake. The war between Hamas and Israel has barely ended, but the ...

EU statement fails to hide division on Palestine

29.11.12 @ 07:08

An EU declaration to be published on the day of a historic UN vote on Palestine does little to hide internal division on the subject. The statement - a draft of which was seen by EUobserver - repeats the Union's ...

Israel and Hamas compete for EU sympathy

15.11.12 @ 09:30

Both sides in the new Gaza conflict are competing for international sympathy as fighting escalates. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told EUobserver on Thursday (15 November) morning that Prime Minister Benjamin ...

MEPs split on EU-Israel trade deal

19.09.12 @ 08:56

MEPs have set the scene for an ill-tempered debate on Israeli settlements after the trade committee narrowly endorsed removing trade barriers for Israeli medical products. Centre-right deputies in the EPP group on ...

Barroso in Palestine: 'We are laying foundations of future state'

09.07.12 @ 09:21

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has pledged support for a future Palestinian state on his first official trip to the region. Speaking alongside Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah on Sunday ...

OpinionRaising the volume on EU demands about Gaza

18.06.12 @ 17:45

EU foreign ministers recently said that ending the Middle East conflict was a fundamental interest of the European Union. If this is indeed the case, Europe should pay much more attention to what is happening in the ...