Time for the EU to Counteract the US Move on Jerusalem

EuroMed Rights condemns in the strongest possible terms the decision by the United States to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The decision demonstrates an outright disregard for international law, as well as a violation of the international consensus, backed by UN Security Council resolutions, regarding the illegality of Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem. It seriously undermines the human rights of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, while encouraging and rewarding Israel’s illegal annexation and its unlawful occupation and fragmentation policies on the ground.

Since the illegal annexation of East Jerusalem, Israel has maintained a relentless policy aimed at reshaping the demographics of the city and of redrawing its borders. This has included significant and accelerated settlement building in the city, coupled with house demolitions and evictions of Palestinian residents. The recent legislative proposals, such as the Greater Jerusalem Bill, are highly concerning as they aimed at annexing several Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The US decision serves to compound and reward Israel’s illegal policies and acts of annexation and occupation, which are implemented in an accountability vacuum, and will further embolden Israel’s attempts to expand settlement construction in the city and to cut it off from the rest of the West Bank.

Despite expressing its serious concern over the political and security consequences of the US move, the EU has yet to publicly recognise the deep human rights implications for the roughly 300,000 Palestinians residents of East Jerusalem. As regards Jerusalem, as well as the larger reality in Israel/Palestine, it is today clear that change will not come unless the international community urgently takes decisive action to promote and defend human rights and international law.

EuroMed Rights calls on the EU and Member States to urgently address the deteriorating human rights situation in East Jerusalem and to establish an independent and proactive foreign policy that firmly promotes respect for international law and human rights principles in Israel/Palestine.