A ground-breaking video conference took place on Tuesday 25th January at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels, between Members of the European Parliament and the three members of the Palestinian Legislative Council currently seeking refuge in the International Red Cross compound in Jerusalem. Margrette Auken, the Danish MEP and vice-chair of the Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council (DPLC), German MEP Alexandra Thein and Sinn Fein's Northern Ireland MEP Bairbre de Brun, both of whom are also members of the DPLC, took part in the live event. As the PLC members spent their 209th day in the compound, where they have sought refuge against deportation by the Israeli authorities, the campaign to highlight their plight has been stepped up around the world.
On the anniversary of their election, the Palestinian parliamentarians highlighted the worsening of their own predicament as well as the overall deterioration of the current situation in occupied East Jerusalem. They related accounts of further property demolitions taking place in the Holy City and noted that one of the most shocking examples of Israel's destruction of Palestinian properties was that of the historic Shepherd Hotel to make way for homes for illegal settler-colonists.
The Jerusalem MPs discussed the growing danger of the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in occupied East Jerusalem, highlighted by the expulsion of fellow PLC member Mohammed Abu Tir. The MEPs expressed their discontent at the increasingly aggressive Israeli tactics and the attempts to deport the democratically-elected members of the PLC. The Europeans promised their fellow parliamentarians that they will adopt the issues of the Jerusalem MPs' plight, not only within the European Parliament, but also within their home countries.