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European Parliament Urges Eec to Resume Relations with Israel, Lift Sanctions

The Parliament of Europe called on the European Economic Community (EEC) today to resume normal relations with Israel and lift the economic sanctions it imposed in June 1982 after Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.

The Parliament, which has a consultative role and whose resolutions are not binding on the 10 EEC member states, said that by signing the withdrawal agreement with Lebanon Israel has returned to the status quo ante and the Common Market Commission should act accordingly.

Last June the Commission decided to postpone indefinitely a $36 million credit it had previously granted Israel. Foreign Minister Yitzhak Shamir and other Israeli leaders have asked the 10 to lift the sanctions which, in spite of the relatively small sum involved, is considered a blow to Israel’s prestige in Western Europe.

The Foreign Ministers of the EEC are due to examine its relations with Israel next week. West Germany and Holland are known to favor a resumption of normal ties with Israel but other member governments insist that relations should be “unfrozen” only after Israel withdraws its troops from Lebanon.

The Strasbourg Assembly of the European Parliament also called on the commission to grant “as soon as feasible, substantial financial and material aid” to the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, especially to those living in the south of the country, under Israeli administration. The Assembly said the Commission should set up schools and other social and educational projects to “help relieve the plight” of the refugees.

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