Ynetnews (Analysis)
September 29, 2011 - 12:00am

The European Parliament on Thursday passed a resolution calling the Palestinian bid for statehood "legitimate."

"The right of Palestinians to self-determination and to have their own state is unquestionable, as is the right of Israel to exist within safe borders", the resolution said.

The European Parliament also reiterated its endorsement of the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations, stressing that "no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be accepted." The parliamentarians urged Israel's government to halt settlement construction.

Members of European Parliament also stressed that EU states and the international community should reconfirm their strong commitment to Israel's security.

'Stop building them'
Earlier this week, the EU slammed Israel's decision to build new homes in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. EU Foreign Policy Chief Catherin Ashton told the EU Parliament that she heard "with deep regret" that Israeli plans to build homes beyond the Green Line were continuing.

"The expansion of settlements threatens the viability of an agreed two-state solution," Ashton said. "This plan should be reversed."

Ashton added that she planned to take up the issue again with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when she next meets him. "He should stop announcing them and, more importantly, stop building them," she told legislators in Strasbourg, France.

Also last week, the International Quartet of Middle East mediators proposed that Israel and the Palestinians should meet within one month to agree an agenda for new peace talks with a goal of a deal by the end of 2012.

In a statement, the Quartet - the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia - said it wanted to see comprehensive proposals within three months on territory and security, and substantial progress within six months.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017