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Israeli-Palestinian conflict: PACE in favour of a solution establishing two 'democratic and pluralist' states

Strasbourg, 25.06.2013 – At the end of a debate on the situation in the Middle East and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) today expressed its support for a solution involving two “democratic and pluralist” states. Alongside status issues, the Assembly believes that “those of standards should also be addressed so that, ultimately all people, Arabs and Jews, Israeli and Palestinian citizens, can equally enjoy respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law”.

In a resolution adopted on the basis of the report by Pietro Marcenaro (Italy, SOC), PACE called on the Israeli authorities to guarantee the same individual rights to all Israeli citizens, including members of the Arab minority, and to put an end to arbitrary arrests and administrative detentions of Palestinians. It also called on Israel to release imprisoned members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and other prisoners – provided that they are not convicted of acts of terror – to stop the building of new settlements and the extension of old ones, to stop the construction of the so-called ‘separation wall’, in exchange for appropriate security guarantees, and to lift the blockade of Gaza.

At the same time, the Assembly called on all Palestinian forces to conclude the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas, to organise presidential and parliamentary elections, and to refrain from using violence against Israeli citizens.

The parliamentarians also expressed their concern about human rights violations committed in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, including executions after unfair trials, and urged the Hamas to bring perpetrators to justice and to introduce an immediate moratorium on executions. Finally, the Assembly called on Hamas to recognise the right of the State of Israel to exist, to endorse the Arab peace plan, and to stop launching rockets and all types of attack against Israel.

PACE will continue to promote dialogue between the representatives of the Knesset and the Palestinian National Council, in particular in the framework of its Sub-Committee on the Middle East.