MEP Andrews calls on EU to recognise State of Palestine

Published on: 09 May 2024

MEP Barry Andrews has called on the European Union to recognise the State of Palestine.

It comes as Ireland and a number of other like-minded EU countries move towards diplomatic recognition of Palestine on the 21st May.

“The EU’s inaction to date on the war on Gaza has been shameful.  This position has become even more untenable since the brutal bombing of Rafah this week.  Continued failure to act now ventures into the realm of complicity in any finding of genocide against Israel,” the Dublin MEP said.

“With Ireland and a number of other like-minded EU countries now moving towards formally recognising the State of Palestine later this month, there is an opportunity for EU leaders to finally step up and follow this lead.  By failing to do so, they are continuing to turn a blind eye to one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time, and effectively allowing Prime Minister Netanyahu to act with a sense of impunity.

“I witnessed how the Israeli forces held up aid entering into Gaza arbitrarily during my visit to Rafah in December. In the European Parliament, I saw misinformation disseminated in an attempt to defund UNRWA, the main humanitarian agency active in Gaza. And now, Netanyahu is attacking the main crossing for allowing supplies in - and critically - the primary exit point out of Gaza, especially for medical patients.

“I have no doubt that it is the inaction of the international community that has led us to this point. I first called for sanctions on Israel in January. I have written to President von der Leyen, President Michel and High Representative Borrell, alongside 67 other MEPs from across the political spectrum, demanding an emergency European Council meeting to put sanctions in place in light of this attack on Rafah. Recognition of the State of Palestine must also be on the agenda. For the sake of the EU’s credibility, the EU must speak with one voice.

“The EU has a treaty-based obligation to uphold human rights and international humanitarian law in its relations with other countries, and EU Member States are obliged to implement the ICJ’s provisional measures by preventing genocide. If the EU is not already complicit in this atrocity, inaction in light of the Rafah attacks will guarantee this.

“Nothing could excuse Hamas’ heinous crimes, but I continue to ask myself how so many western governments can stand by a leader that is responsible for the deaths of more than 13,000 children in the space of a few months?

“This lack of leadership, when it mattered most, will be studied in history books for decades to come.”