A delegation of MKs to the Inter-Parliamentary Union prevented an international boycott initiated by Palestinian lawmakers at its 129th Assembly in Geneva Monday.

MKs Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua) and Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) represented the Knesset in Geneva and successfully removed from the IPU’s agenda an “emergency motion” tabled by the Palestinian delegation that called for all parliaments to boycott Israel and condemn settlement construction.

The IPU is the international organization of parliaments, established in 1889. The organization says it works for peace and cooperation among peoples and the firm establishment of representative democracy by fostering coordination between lawmakers, discussing issues of international interest, defending human rights and strengthening and developing parliaments.

“When I landed in Geneva, I immediately told the heads of the IPU that I will not take part in meetings with the Palestinian representatives unless they take back their motion,” Sheetrit said. “The proposal they put on the agenda sabotages efforts to make peace and negotiate.”

Palestinian National Council speaker Saleem al-Za’noon submitted in September a request to include an emergency motion on the agenda titled “Continued Israeli settlements in the occupied territories of the State of Palestine since 1967: Hindering the peace process in the Middle East.”

The motion called for the IPU to recognize Israel as “administrator [of the territory] belonging to the occupied Palestinian State,” and appeal to Israel “to desist from providing settlers in the Occupied Arab Territories with arms, thus enabling them to perpetrate crimes against the civilian population.”

In addition, the Palestinian motion “calls upon all states not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connection with settlements in the occupied territory” and “greatly appreciates the decision taken by the EU not to purchase any products produced in the settlements... and calls upon all members to follow suit.”

Finally, the Palestinians urged all IPU member parliaments to pressure Israel to freeze construction of settlements, bypass roads and the separation barrier, which they wrote would “pave the way for the resumption of effective, positive negotiations leading to a comprehensive peace.”

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