Tuesday

26th Mar 2019

EU urges Israel to stick to peace process

The Czech EU presidency has urged any future Israeli government to stick to the two-state solution on Palestine, amid concern in Europe that a new right-wing coalition could complicate the Middle East peace process.

"The presidency encourages the incoming Israeli government to pursue all efforts leading towards the creation of an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace and security," the Czech statement said.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

  • A UN building in Gaza on fire - the elections were held in the shadow of recent violence (Photo: Oxfam)

Israeli elections on Tuesday (10 February) saw the centrist Kadima party led by current foreign minister Tzipi Livni take the most seats overall.

But it was the right wing of the Knesset that was the big winner from the poll, with the Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas parties making strong gains, and with a rightist coalition capable of taking power led by traditional right-wing party Likud if the extreme-right but secular Yisrael Beiteinu and ultra-orthodox Shas groups see eye to eye.

Shas supports expansion of Jewish settlements on Palestinian land, while Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman advocates that Israeli Arabs be made to take loyalty oaths or be stripped of their citizenship and "transferred" to the Palestine Authority.

Labour, the centre-left party of Israel's establishment and the key party that oversaw the founding of the Israeli state, had its worst showing ever, coming in fourth place with just 19 seats.

A centre-left coalition led by Kadima and Labour would be possible, but only with the backing of Meretz, a small, left-of-Labour party and the three Arab parties, United Arab List–Ta'al, Hadash and Balad. Kadima and Labour however refuse to work with Israeli Arab political parties, and they, for their part, have said they will not back Ms Livni after the war on Gaza.

"The whole [of] Israeli society has taken a step to the right and a more military direction," University of Oslo historian Hilde Henriksen Waage told AP on the implications of the Israeli vote.

"It's not good for the peace process," University of London foreign policy expert Mike Williams said.

The election was held in the shadow of the recent Gaza conflict. Gaza militants on Wednesday fired four mortar shells at the western Negev region. A Qassam rocket also hit a field near the Israeli town of Sderot on Tuesday.

Palestinian officials said Israeli forces killed over 1,300 people in the recent Gaza fighting, including 900 civilians of whom 410 were children. Fourteen Israelis lost their lives.

The violence saw the EU put talks over upgrading relations with Israel on hold, as well as mass street protests against Israeli actions in several European cities.

Twenty three percent overall of people in Germany, France, the UK, Spain, Poland, Austria and Hungary said that Israeli state actions have influenced their opinion of Jewish people in a poll by the US-based Anti Defamation League out this week.

Of those, 58 percent said their opinion of Jewish people became worse.

Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem

Romania will move its embassy to Jerusalem, its prime minister has said, shattering the EU line on the Arab-Israeli conflict while the country holds the EU rotating presidency.

Name row on new EU sanctions exposes deeper rift

EU officials have voiced scepticism on proposed new human rights sanctions, amid a "nasty" debate to what extent Russia ought to be named and shamed in the title of the new measures.

Hopeless Gaza Strip ripe for Islamic State, says UN head

Fears are mounting that more extreme militants, possibly linked to the Islamic State, will gain a foothold in the Gaza Strip as trapped youth lose all sense of hope in a conflict that is on the verge of boiling over.

Investigation

Leaked document sheds light on Turkey's 'controlled coup'

More than two years after the failed putsch, evidence is trickling out to support what the EU initially suspected - that Erdogan knew what was going to happen and let it go ahead as a pretext to create one-man rule.

News in Brief

  1. EU tables plan for joint approach to 5G security
  2. MEPs agree to scrap summer time clock changes by 2021
  3. European Parliament votes on reform of copyright
  4. New French-German parliament meets for first time
  5. EU parliament reduces polling ahead of elections
  6. UK parliament votes to take control of Brexit process
  7. EU publishes no-deal Brexit contingency plans
  8. EU urges Israel and Gaza to re-establish calm

EU migrants sneaking into US from Mexico

Almost 1,000 Romanian nationals were caught trying to sneak into the United States in 2017, of which around half attempted to cross via Mexico. Nationals from countries like Hungary and the UK were also intercepted.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  5. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  8. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID

Latest News

  1. EU lawmakers pass contentious copyright law
  2. France takes Chinese billions despite EU concerns
  3. Europe before the elections - heading back to the past?
  4. Romania presidency shatters EU line on Jerusalem
  5. The Spitzen process - a coup that was never accepted
  6. Russia and money laundering in Europe
  7. Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe
  8. What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us