The European Union (EU) has affirmed its support for embattled Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA, and issued a thinly-veiled rebuke of the Trump administration’s approach to Middle East peace, in a statement delivered on Tuesday in New York at the United Nations Security Council.
In remarks read out by senior EU diplomat Gustavo Martin Prada, Brussels expressed concern that “the perspective of a two-state solution is being dismantled piece by piece”, citing a number of developments in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt).
EU deserves credit supporting @unrwa especially after the US unilaterally withdrew support. The problem is that the EU support goes to the general budget which doesn't give a chance for visibility of the EU's generosity@EUinJordan @EUpalestinians @AndreaFontanaEU @erikullenhag pic.twitter.com/FV83FX1ksn
— Daoud Kuttab داود (@daoudkuttab) January 23, 2019
The EU singled out for condemnation “the advancement in December 2018 of Israeli plans for over 2,000 settlement units and renewed plans to ‘legalize’ West Bank outposts”, as well as “the allocation of an area south of Bethlehem for the purpose of planning a new settlement”.
The EU also reaffirmed its support for UNRWA, which has faced intensified attacks at its funding and mandate by Israel and the United States.
EU and international community need to do more to end the humanitarian catastrophe for Palestinians, end blockages to humanitarian access (NB Gaza) and peace, bring forward a two-state solution before there's no Palestine left to recognise @IrekandinPalestine @dfatirl @UNRWA https://t.co/K2ugBJ4EId
— Eamonn Casey (@EamonnCasey5) January 22, 2019
The statement read:
“Continued support by the international community for the important work done by UNRWA remains crucial … We are and will continue to be strong, reliable and predictable supporters of the Agency and we will strive to enable UNRWA to continue its operations until a just, fair, agreed and realistic solution to the final status issue of Palestine refugees is reached.”
Although the prospects for a two-state solution look grim, the EU dismissed the idea that there is a “credible alternative”, adding:
“This is why the EU remains committed to the internationally agreed parameters for a just and lasting peace in the Middle East based on international law, relevant UN resolutions including UNSC Resolution 1860 and 2334 and previous agreements.”
“To be successful, any peace plan should recognize these internationally agreed parameters,” the EU said, in an implied reference to reports about plans being considered by the Trump administration.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)