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The most important EU meeting in Palestinian history

A Palestinian flag is seen on a flag pole outside the European Commission building in Brussels, Belgium [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]
A Palestinian flag is seen on a flag pole outside the European Commission building in Brussels, Belgium [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

In one of the most important steps in the history of Palestinian-European relations, the European Union foreign ministers are holding preliminary meetings to discuss the European countries’ and EU’s recognition of a Palestinian state. The importance of European recognition of a Palestinian state lies in strengthening the Palestinian institutions’ self-capabilities and in continuing to build the state in order for it to be able to protect Palestinians’ human rights and their perseverance to obtain their rights. The Palestinian dream is embodied by the nation’s desire to return to the homeland and protect Palestinian rights.

The EU countries can make their decision to recognise the Palestinian state far from the pressure exerted by the occupation and work to achieve justice for the Palestinian people, who have made great sacrifices to obtain freedom, independence and self-determination. If the EU countries recognise a Palestinian state, the Palestinian people will support this and it will enhance their ability to obtain freedom and justice, as well as confront the current challenges and the occupation’s arbitrary and racist actions carried out by the Israeli war machine in the form of daily attacks on Palestinian cities.

In light of these positions, the European Union should come out with a strong message regarding the peace process and send a special note to everyone by recognising the state of Palestine and supporting the establishment of the Palestinian state. This is especially true given the US’ support for building Israeli settlements that violate international law and support racism and extremism in the region.

READ: Netanyahu vows to annex all settlements ‘without exception’ 

The EU’s positions on supporting the establishment of the Palestinian state have been positive, and European support for the Palestinian Authority formed an important axis in terms of building Palestinian institutions. In the recent past, European policy achieved a positive role in countering the plans and attempts of the American administration, headed by Trump, to change the peace process references and finding a solution between the occupation and the PLO, although the European policy has not yet been able to adopt a decisive position on recognising the Palestinian state clearly. The actions we are seeing today are considered positive steps towards the EU adopting an important and historical decision to collectively and individually recognise the Palestinian state, far from the American pressures and the occupation’s attempts to influence EU countries not to directly recognise a Palestinian state. Washington has tried to set dangerous precedents for international relations, dominate international law and legitimacy, and support the occupation government despite it committing dangerous human rights violations against the Palestinian people, their national cause and just rights.

US President Donald Trump delivers remarks during the 'Evangelicals for Trump' Coalition event at the King Jesus Church in Miami, Florida, United States on January 03, 2019 [Stringer / Anadolu Agency]

US President Donald Trump in Florida, United States on 3 January 2019 [Stringer / Anadolu Agency]

International law supports the establishment of the Palestinian state and its legal status will be stronger after European recognition of the Palestinian state. Making the decision to recognise the state will pave the way to a clear peace process that mainly relies on the establishment of the Palestinian state and will put an end to the occupation’s actions and the American support for the occupation state at the expense of the higher interest of the Palestinian people.

READ: EU reiterates rejection of Israel’s actions in Jerusalem

The European Union is interested in discussing developments on the Palestinian scene and the practices of the Israeli occupation aimed at annexing the Jordan Valley and the northern Dead Sea, as well as matters related to the illegal settlements. The EU countries must take a firm stand on these issues in order to pressure the occupation to stop its practices and begin taking positive steps. This includes agreeing to the Palestinian elections in occupied Jerusalem. Merely recognising Palestine will not end the Israeli occupation, but it respects the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and a step that supports the peace process, which is based on international law and legitimacy, as well as UN resolutions. It will begin a new era of relations between countries, away from the domination of the White House and US policy.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Addustour on 22 January 2020

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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ArticleEUInternational OrganisationsIsraelMiddle EastOpinionPalestine
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