Settlement Construction 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Israel must stop settlement construction and release Palestinian
parliamentarians from prison, the diplomatic body of the Council of Europe
declared in a motion approved Thursday.
Israeli representatives in the
meeting, MKs Nachman Shai (Labor) and Ronen Hoffman (Yesh Atid), were
disappointed at the results of the vote, saying the resolution ignores recent
changes in the Middle East and the new dangers they bring to Israel.
resolution calls for Israel to stop construction in new and existing
settlements, stop demolishing Palestinian homes and expropriating land in Judea
and Samaria, stop administrative detentions and the transfer of prisoners to
Israel, and free Palestinian legislators from prison.
The Council of
Europe is a 47-country organization that promotes democracy and oversees the
European Court of Human Rights The diplomatic panel expressed disapproval that
they were unable to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President
Shimon Peres, even though they met Jordanian and Palestinian Authority leaders
ahead of the vote.
“My colleagues and I are pressuring the Israeli
government to immediately start negotiations, but we expect that you, the
Council of Europe and its parliament members, join the general effort and
pressure the Palestinian Authority to remove any precondition for talks,” Shai
told the committee.
At Shai and Hoffman’s last minute request, the
committee amended the resolution, not allowing Hamas to participate in
negotiations unless they accept the Quartet’s conditions and changing
“separation wall” to “separation barrier.”
In addition, the committee
canceled its call to give Israeli Arabs collective rights as a national
minority, as opposed to personal rights, which they already have.
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not the main cause of instability in the
region,” Hoffman said. “The committee should also deal with the Syrian civil
war, the massacre of civilians, Hezbollah’s involvement, and the rise of radical
Islam and terror.”
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