Subject: [Israel/Palestine] Considerations prior to the EP Emergency Resolution on Gaza

We, EuroMed Rights, are reaching out to you to express our concerns and provide our recommendations in relation to the upcoming Plenary discussion on the Emergency resolution on March 13 in relation to the new developments in Gaza.

As of March 6, Israel’s war against Palestinians in Gaza continues unrestrained, resulting in an alarming and disproportionately high number of casualties among the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza and other parts of the Occupied Palestinian territories. Gaza’s Ministry of Health reported that over 30.700 Palestinians have been killed.

More than 75% of Gaza’s population has been forcibly displaced, with a significant concentration of internally displaced individuals now residing in the southern city of Rafah. Previously home to 250,000 people, Rafah now accommodates over 1.5 million Gazans, most of whom endure extreme deprivation, lacking access to necessities such as food, water, medication, hygiene, and power.

This extreme deprivation caused by the illegal Israeli siege and the destruction of civilian infrastructure on Gaza has created a situation of extreme risk of famine amongst Gazans. According to the deputy chief of the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, at least 576.000 Gazans are under threat of catastrophic levels of deprivation and starvation, with a famine being “imminent” in Northern Gaza if there’s no change in the current developments on the ground. 16 children have already been reported to have died of malnutrition and dehydration across Gaza, with increasing numbers every day. The consequences of this deprivation is evident in the murder of 112 desperate Palestinians collecting flour from a humanitarian convoy in what has been dubbed the “Flour massacre”.

Against the grimmest of backgrounds, we remind all Members of the European Parliament of the International Court of Justice’s recent decision on ordering Provisional Measures against Israel due to a plausible risk that acts of genocide may be taking place against Gazans. Nearly one month from this watershed decision, Israel seems to not have taken any of the measures ordered by the court, with humanitarian aid delivery falling since January 26th. Third-party states are obligated to adhere to these measures, ensuring that they refrain from collaborating with genocidal acts and implement policies to prevent such atrocities.

This risk is compounded by the recent EU decision to condition partial funding to UNRWA to the implementation of an agreement between the EU and the UN agency. While it is positive that the EU has decided to continue funding UNRWA, such conditionality threatens to worsen an already catastrophic situation by withholding extremely necessary funding to the survival of the Palestinians in Gaza.

Considering these circumstances, EuroMed Rights urges you to:

  • Encourage the Commission and the Council to demand an immediate and unconditional ceasefire over Gaza and on all fronts, as well as the lifting of the ongoing siege of Gaza.
  • Push for increased and immediate humanitarian aid deliveries in all of Gaza to avoid a catastrophic famine in the region.
  • Pressure Israel into complying with the ICJ Provisional measures of 26 January 2024, including the immediate halting of any plausible act of genocide and the increased delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza.
  • Urge the Commission and the Council to suspend the EU-Israel Association Agreement based on its Article 2, establish a two-way arms embargo and review all other agreements with Israel.
  • Support international mechanisms of accountability such as the open investigation at the International Criminal Court and the different proceedings at the International Court of Justice to ensure that any violation of international law and human rights is brought to justice.

We remain at your disposal to complement the above-listed points.

Yours sincerely,