PES calls for de-escalation of violence in Palestine and Israel
In the last few weeks tensions have been running high in Palestine and Israel. The violence started after the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June, followed by a military operation leading to the arrest of at least 364 Palestinians and the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager by three Israelis. Meanwhile rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel, followed by retaliation airstrikes from the Israeli army killing at least 27 Palestinians, 7 of which under the age of 15.
‘We deplore the escalation of violence’, says PES President, Sergei Stanishev. ‘This conflict has already demanded too many lives. No more innocent people should become the victim of incitement and hatred stirred up by extremists on both sides. Just as Palestinians should not target Israeli civilians with rocket fire, Israelis should not retort to the killing of civilians and collectively punishing a whole population for the cruel acts of a group of extremists.’
‘Continued violence will only lead to more hatred and deeply entrenched divisions. Responsible authorities on both sides need to find the strength to come together and continue negotiations. Now is the time for the EU to take up responsibility and use all means at its disposal to end this dangerous spiral of violence and reopen negotiations. Only through a fully supported political decision will we achieve peace.’