The European Parliament took a historic vote today to urge member states to recognize the State of Palestine with a majority of 498 to 88 in favour. The motion was led by the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament (S&D), of which Labour MEPs are members. It comes in light of the support already seen by other European countries, including Britain, Spain, Sweden and Ireland which have voted in favour.
The motion ‘supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.’
The recent surge of European countries voting to recognise Palestine comes in response to the violent clashes over the Summer which left over 2200 Gazans, mostly civilians, and 64 Israelis, including 6 civilians, dead.
S&D Group President, Gianni Pittella MEP, commented:
“This resolution, most importantly, stressed the overwhelming conviction in Europe that the time has come to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states living side-by-side in peace and security.’
North West Labour MEP, Afzal Khan, Vice-Chair of Security & Defence in the European Parliament and a front-line vocalist on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, said:
‘This is truly a historic moment, not only for the Palestinians, who have suffered immensely for over 50 years, but for the whole of Europe. Today the EU has shown its solidarity with those suffering in the Middle East and has demonstrated its will to get more actively involved in the peace process.’
‘We need to use this momentum to urge remaining EU countries to follow suit and particularly to support efforts in the UN to place a time limit on a final solution which is already long over-due.’