Hamas absent from European Parliament resolution on peace process challenges


(JTA) — The European Parliament passed a resolution on Israel and the Palestinians that omits any reference to Hamas, but which advocates of the Jewish state said was more balanced than previous documents endorsed by that institution.

Titled “Achieving the Two-State Solution in the Middle-East, the resolution passed Thursday in Strasbourg “condemns all acts of violence, acts of terrorism against Israelis, and incitement to violence which are fundamentally incompatible with advancing a peaceful two-state solution.”

Past resolutions generally avoided identifying culprits and victims, which critics complained suggested that both parties might be guilty of such acts rather than just the Palestinians.

“While we would have wished for even clearer language, we appreciate the important step Parliament has taken to end the counterproductive habit of sheltering the Palestinians from legitimate criticism,” Daniel Schwammenthal, the director of the American Jewish Committee‘s Transatlantic Institute in Brussels, said in a  statement.

“We would have also liked to see Hamas clearly named in the resolution as a terror organization responsible for the suffering of its own population by diverting funds from public services to terror infratructure,” an AJC spokesman told JTA.

The resolution features numerous allegations against Israel and a statement that Jerusalem should be “the capital of both states” – an Israeli and a Palestinian one. While condemning terrorism in general and against Israelis particularly, the resolution does not mention Hamas, which is blacklisted as a terrorist group by the European Union and controls the Gaza Strip.

“Settlements are illegal under international law,” reads the resolution, which singles out the Knesset’s approval in February of the “‘regularization law,’ which allows retroactive legalization of settlements built on Palestinian properties without the consent of the legitimate private owners.”

“Israel’s establishing of West Bank settlement, including in East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation of international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-state solution,” the resolution reads.

The resolution also suggests that Arab Israelis do not enjoy equal rights in Israel. The text “calls for equal rights for all citizens of Israel” and on Israel to lift its blockade of Gaza.

But the resolution for the first time in documents of its kind addressed financing by the Palestinian Authority of terrorists imprisoned by Israel.

The resolution stressed “the responsibility of relevant EU authorities in continuing to ensure that no EU funding can be directly or indirectly diverted to terrorist organizations or activities that incite these acts.”

Recommended from JTA