More than eighty Palestinian civil society organisations have handed a petition to the EU representatives in the Gaza Strip, Jerusalem and Ramallah complaining about Europe's expansion of trade and other links with Israel.
The Palestinian groups regard the EU decision as a serious breach of the terms of the agreement with Israel, which require the state to commit itself to human rights in principle and practice as a condition for the continuation of the arrangement. Israel violates such rights on a daily basis in the occupied Palestinian territories.
A delegation of the Palestinian NGO Network visited the EU office in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, September 5 to hand the petition to office manager Ayman Fatiha. During the delegation's meeting with Mr. Fatiha, its members stressed the positive relationship between the Palestinians and the European Union and the values and principles which link both parties. They expressed their disbelief that the EU could expand links with Israel at a time when the brutal military occupation continues to deny the people of Palestine their rights, violating international laws and the terms of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
The delegation pointed out that the situation in the occupied territories actually requires the European Union to impose tough sanctions on Israel and work towards its isolation, not to reward it for its illegal actions.
The NGO Network will continue to put pressure on the European Union to isolate Israel and reverse the latest decision as it contradicts the EU's supposed stance in support of justice for the Palestinians.