EU now recognises Palestinians' 'right to protect territory'

EU now recognises Palestinians' 'right to protect territory'
The EU now recognises both Israelis and Palestinians' right to defend their territory and legitimate security interests, according to a statement from the EU Parliament.
2 min read
16 December, 2022
The EU Parliament recognised Palestinians' right to defend themselves [Monasse T/Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty]

The European Parliament has said that it recognises the right of Palestinians to protect their land. 

The statement was made as part of a European Parliament resolution on Wednesday about the prospects of the two-state solution for Israel and Palestine. 

"Israelis and Palestinians alike have the right to live in security; whereas this includes the right to protect their territory and defend their legitimate security interests," reads the resolution. 

The statement appears to defend Palestinians' right to protect territory which has been repeatedly encroached on and stolen by Israel.

The Israeli government has approved and expanded dozens of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank over the past few decades, seen as an attempt to cement Israeli rule and annex the occupied Palestinian territories. 

It comes at a time when the US stresses Israel's right to self-defence while ignoring the onslaught of consecutive right-wing Israeli governments against the Palestinians. 

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Israel’s incoming government will likely be among the most right-wing in its history, as hardline settler activists Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich have been assigned top cabinet posts.

The European Union also reaffirmed its commitment to support the two-state solution, according to the resolution, "with two sovereign, democratic states living side by side in peace and guaranteed security, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states".

A two-state solution is looking increasingly difficult to implement on the ground due to Israel more than doubling the number of settlers living in the occupied West Bank - which is internationally recognised as Palestinian territory. 

There are also fears that Israel's new far-right government could lead to renewed violence against Palestinians. Ben-Gvir has been convicted of inciting racism in the past for holding up a placard reading "expel the Arab enemy".

Israel has illegally occupied the West Bank, including annexed east Jerusalem, since the Six-Day War of 1967.