Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on the European Union to impose sanctions on Israel over its refusal to live up to its obligations to the peace process over the last 20 years.
Ms Anderson, the chair of the European Parliament’s delegation to the Palestinian Legislative Council, said;
“Twenty years has passed from the historic handshake between Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin on the White House Law.
“It has also been 20 years since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority and the formal start of the Palestinian/Israeli peace process.
“It is also clear, however, that this year marks 20 years of shattered hopes and unfulfilled obligations in that process as a result of the obstructive behaviour of the Israelis.
“I witnessed this at first hand during my three visits to Palestine in the last year when I was refused entry to Gaza on each occasion.
“It was also highlighted in the run-up to the recent Israeli election when Benjamin Netanyahu exposed the 20-year pretence that Israel is a genuine partner for peace when he stated there would never be a Palestinian state.
“The international community have a responsibility to challenge Israel on its repeated failures to progress the peace process.
“The EU in particular can send a clear message to Israel and the wider international community by imposing sanctions against Israel.
“Jerusalem is more divided today than at any time since the Israeli occupation began in 1967 and the international community have a duty to act.”