Ramallah, 24 Jumadil Akhir 1434/4 May 2013 (MINA) – An European Parliament (EP) called on the European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton and Member States to insist that Israel must ends to the illegal policies preventing a resumption of negotiations to end the occupation, said an EP press release Thursday (2/5).

The Vice President of the European Parliament (EP) Isabelle Durant also said that the freedom of the Palestinian people is urgent and they must be given support in order to achieve it.

Durant told that she has been following up on the Palestinian cause for over 20 years and this is the first time for her to visit Palestine.

She said that the Palestinians’ suffering that she witnessed firsthand, indicates that it is of utmost importance to help them gain their freedom using nonviolent methods.

Durant, who came to attend the “Freedom and Dignity”  conference held in Ramallah to discuss issues related to the Palestinian prisoners and their conditions in Israeli jails, said that this conference was different in that it had a highly innovative, interactive and representative format with the participation, inter alia, of civil society.

On behalf of the EP president, Martin Schulz, Durant attended the conference wishing it to be the beginning of something bigger that could help the Palestinians gain their freedom.

She called for an increasing support to Palestinians within the EP and affirmed that she will be brief its members on all that she heard and saw in order to help the Palestinians gain their freedom and independence.

Durant emphasized that the EP is doing its best to free and protect the prisoners’ dignity “especially when they are being imprisoned without charge or trial.”

The EP’s Delegation for Relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council conducted a six-day visit to East Al Quds (Jerusalem) and the West Bank that started on April 27, taking in the “Freedom and Dignity” conference in Ramallah on the subject of Palestinian prisoners and people. according to WAFA News Agency report as quoted by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

EP passed a resolution on March 14, 2013 expressing concern about the conditions under which prisoners are being held in Israeli prisons and called for a fact-finding mission to “assess the current situation.”

It concluded that the prisoners’ issue “is inextricably linked to the achievement of a just and lasting peace in the region.”

The delegation stated, after witnessing how Palestinians are denied basic rights and freedoms, that Palestinians’ freedom has been crushed by the occupation.

The delegation listed a number of Israeli violations relating to freedom of movement, freedom to live without harassment, freedom to develop homes and land, freedom to live peacefully, and freedom to walk and drive on the same streets as Israelis.

They also referred to violations relating to freedom of governors, mayors and the business community to develop the economic sustainability of their towns and villages.

The delegation expressed concern that such actions are part of a strategic plan by the Israelis to force Palestinians off their land and remove their residency rights, particularly in the Jerusalem area.

The plan along with the Separation Wall, said the release, has resulted in the agreed boundary based on the 1967 borders being pushed back even further, effectively annexing large tracts of Palestinian lands as agreed by the Oslo Accords in 1993.

The delegation praised Palestinians commitment to non-violent resistance in pursuit of their right to self-determination and statehood, affirming that they still need the political will and financial support of the international community.(T/P012/P04).

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)



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