EU’s Foreign Policy Chief Slams Israeli Occupation Authorities

Sun May 26 2024
icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp

BRUSSELS: EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell condemned the “Israeli occupation authorities” on Sunday for their punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority, expressing concern over the impact on the Palestinian people.

Speaking alongside Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Mustafa, Borrell highlighted the challenges faced by the Palestinian government, including a socio-economic crisis, humanitarian tragedy in Gaza, and closures in the West Bank. He specifically mentioned the Israeli occupation authorities’ decision to cut all tax revenues belonging to the Palestinian Authority as another punitive action.

Borrell reaffirmed the European Union’s status as the largest international donor of aid to the Palestinian people and reiterated the EU’s commitment to supporting Palestinian state-building efforts. Borrell stated: “We, the European Union, we are the largest international donor of aid to the Palestinian people and a long-standing partner and supporter of the Palestinian state-building.”

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has sparked divisions within the European Union, with different member states taking varying approaches. While Spain has recently led efforts to support Palestinian statehood, other EU countries, including Germany and France, have been more cautious in their approach. Nearly two-thirds of the EU’s 27 countries are not yet ready to do so.

Despite some EU countries’ reservations, Mustafa urged more European nations to follow the lead of Spain, Ireland, and Norway in recognizing the state of Palestine formally. He expressed confidence that additional like-minded European countries would soon join in recognizing Palestine. “We are fully confident that the number of like-minded European countries shall follow suit and formally recognize the state of Palestine in the very near future,” Mustafa said.

Mustafa also outlined plans for the Palestinian Authority to focus on improving its institutions, particularly in Gaza, to ensure effective governance. He emphasized the importance of a comprehensive reform program to achieve progress.

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares echoed Mustafa’s sentiments, pledging to advocate for EU support for international law and the rulings of the International Court of Justice. Albares referenced the recent ICJ ruling calling for Israel to halt military operations in Rafah, Gaza, as an example of upholding international law.

icon-facebook icon-twitter icon-whatsapp