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Erekat calls on the EU to toughen its stance on Israel

March 23, 2015 at 1:44 pm

A senior member of the PLO Executive Committee has called on the European Union to implement the recommendations contained in the report of the Heads of Mission in Palestine and to take a tougher stance towards Israel before the current situation in occupied Jerusalem worsens.

Dr Saeb Erekat stressed that the implementation of the recommendations would save the two-state solution from the Israeli occupation and its apartheid policies. He added that this would also prevent Israel from annexing even more of occupied Jerusalem. The veteran negotiator expressed his deep appreciation for the EU statement about achieving a just and lasting peace through the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state existing in peace and security alongside all of its neighbours. The PLO, he said, takes the latest EU report “very seriously.”

According to Erekat, the time has come to focus efforts on saving the two-state solution before it vanishes completely. This can be done, he insisted, by holding Israel, as the occupying power, accountable for its systematic violations of international law, and by supporting Palestinian steadfastness, institution-building and popular resistance efforts.

He was speaking after Britain’s Guardian published a leaked EU report on Jerusalem last Friday which warns that the situation in the holy city has reached a “dangerous boiling point of polarisation and violence”. The EU document paints a devastating picture of a city more divided than at any time since 1967, when Israeli forces occupied the eastern of the city. Israel annexed occupied East Jerusalem unilaterally and illegally almost immediately afterwards.