Greens/EFA group calls for greater EU engagement with the Arab Community in Israel

in the face of a new cycle of deadly violence, reaching out to the minority communities in Israel and addressing the occupation are critical for peace

On Wednesday 14th of October, Greens/EFA Members met with Mossawa Center Director, Jafar Farah and other members of the Palestinian Arab community in Israel. During the meeting, they discussed the current situation in Israel and Palestine and the possibility of strengthening cooperation.

After the meeting, the Greens/EFA members expressed their deep concerns about the escalation of violence and called on Palestinian and Israeli governments to urgently engage in a genuine peace process:

"We are gravely alarmed at the raising deadly confrontations over past weeks and We fear a serious risk of further escalation if all forms of violence, incitement and provocation do not stop.

"Therefore, we call on the Palestinian side to immediately refrain from violence and to engage in talks with the Israeli side. We also call on the Israeli government to preserve the status quo of the holy sites, to end the impunity of settlers and extremist groups, to protect the rights of all minorities in Israel and to end discrimination, and to genuinely engage in a peace process.

Mass arrests and protracted occupation and settlement expansion in West Bank and East Jerusalem, where 500,000 settlers take hostage over 10 million people in Palestine and Israel, are feeding the escalation of violence. They must cease."

Eventually, they asked for immediate and strong action from the EU:

"The EU has a huge responsibility and must take action to address the core of the problem : the protracted occupation and lack of prospects of a final settlement of the conflict. To do so, the EU should fully implement the policy of differentiation and stop delaying the publication of the EU Labelling Guidelines. In line with what its Heads of Missions in Jerusalem are regularly reporting, the EU should put violent settlers and organisations on its terrorist list and visa ban list.

"Finally the EU should genuinely invest in peace building and reach out to the minority communities in Israel, which are critical for a peaceful and democratic future for Israel and Palestine. We urge the EU, notably the HR/VP and its Special Envoy, to stop ignoring the Arab community in Israel and to engage with them, notably the Joint List in the Israeli Knesset."