European Parliament passes resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood


(JTA) — The European Parliament passed a resolution that supports in principle recognition of a Palestinian state as part of peace talks with Israel.

The resolution, which was drawn up by five political groups, passed Wednesday in a 498-88 vote in Strasbourg, the European Parliament’s press service wrote in a statement. There were 111 abstentions.

The measure affirms the parliament’s support for “in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution,” the statement said. The nonbinding resolution also states that the parliament believes “these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced.”

In an effort to support the European Union’s diplomatic efforts in the Middle East peace process, the statement said the parliament also decided to launch a Parliamentarians for Peace initiative to bring together lawmakers from the Israeli and Palestinian parliaments.

The vote followed several nonbinding resolutions in the parliaments of Britain, France, Ireland and Portugal calling on their governments to recognize Palestinian statehood without delay. Spain’s congress passed a resolution that conditions recognition  on the conclusion of talks with Israel. The Danish and Slovenian parliaments are also scheduled to vote on nonbinding resolutions recognizing Palestinian statehood.

Also in the resolution, the parliament reiterated “its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the secure State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the right of self-determination and full respect of international law.”

The resolution condemned all acts terrorism or violence and stressed the importance of consolidating the authority of the Palestinian consensus government. It urged all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to end internal divisions, and reiterated the EU’s position that Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

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